What to expect when you’re expecting…and divorcing

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, July 29, 2016.

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Having a baby is another stressful event. Unfortunately, there are times when these two events are happening at the same time, which can make everything more complicated.

If you or your spouse is pregnant and you are also considering or have already decided to divorce, there are a few things will want to be prepared for as you navigate such a complex situation.

  1. Emotions can be more unpredictable: Divorce alone can make people react in ways they didn’t expect. Feelings like fear, anger, resentment, sadness and guilt can make people agree to things they shouldn’t or put up a fight for something they don’t actually care about. Add in the hormonal shifts that come with pregnancy, and it can be nearly impossible to make clear, levelheaded decisions at some times.
  2. Fathers can face numerous challenges: Considering the fact that the mother is carrying the baby, she will often be tasked with making decisions and caring for the baby once it is born. This doesn’t mean a father should be left out. As noted in this FindLaw article, fathers can protect their rights now and in the future by being active in prenatal decisions, attending doctor’s appointments and making financial contributions. Discussing paternity testing options can also be important.
  3. Financial decisions can change: The financial needs of a baby may not be completely known until he or she is born, which is why discussions regarding property division and child support can be so tricky. Further, there may be unpaid parental leave to consider as well as a parent’s decision not to return to work, which could also affect discussions regarding alimony.

Divorce, child custody, child support and alimony are all subjects that are complex in their own right. Adding in the fact that a baby is on the way can only make things more complicated.

If you are divorcing and expecting a child, it can be critical to discuss the road ahead and your legal options with your attorney. Knowing what to expect — in terms of both a pregnancy and a divorce — can help you plan ahead and make informed decisions that are in your best interests and those of your unborn child.

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