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What happens when a spouse is pregnant during a divorce?
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What happens when a spouse is pregnant during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Family law |

Many married couples in Texas may find that divorce is the only option for them. However, things can get complicated when a spouse is pregnant. If it’s been impossible to work through things with therapy and the couple is set on divorcing, it’s important to understand how pregnancy can impact the divorce.

Can you divorce when one spouse is pregnant?

Per the law in Texas, if a spouse is pregnant, it’s only possible to get a divorce after the birth of the baby. If the husband is the biological father, there must be child custody and child support included in the divorce decree. However, the orders cannot be made until after the birth.

If the husband isn’t the baby’s biological father, paternity must be established before the couple is allowed to complete the divorce process. Paternity can only be established after the baby’s birth.

In an LGBTQ marriage involving two women, things can be more complicated. It’s important to learn the rights of both spouses and how a divorce can take place before filing paperwork.

How is paternity established?

If a couple is headed for divorce but the wife is pregnant, they must first wait to establish paternity and the baby must be born. Paternity is necessary to ensure that the biological father has legal rights and responsibilities to the child. A court order will be issued after the birth of the baby so that the husband can take a paternity test.

What if the husband is not the biological father?

When a divorce is impending but the husband is not the biological father, paternity still must be established. If the husband knows he’s not the biological father, he can acknowledge it through a document known as Denial of Paternity that must be signed. If the biological father is attainable, he and the mother must sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form.

When these forms are both filed, the biological father gains legal rights and responsibilities to the child and the husband’s rights to the child cease. The forms must be filed with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. The forms can be obtained at the hospital where the child was born.

Divorce is stressful, but it can be even more so when pregnancy is involved. Taking these steps can make it easier to finalize the process.