Can I Get Divorced While I Am Pregnant?
Pregnancy brings with it many difficulties. If you are in a marriage which you believe is broken beyond repair while pregnant, this is even more challenging. Sometimes a wife becomes pregnant by her spouse but no longer wishes to be married to him. Other times, a wife gets pregnant as a result of infidelity, and her husband is not the father. A divorce in either of these situations can become very complicated from a legal standpoint.
The Husband Will Be the Presumed Father
Being pregnant cannot prevent you from filing for divorce, but in some cases, the judge may choose to delay finalizing the divorce until the child is born. However, if you wish to pursue a simplified divorce in Illinois, you will not be able to do so while pregnant.
Illinois law dictates that the husband of a woman who is legally married is presumed to be the father of any children she conceives. (The presumption of parentage actually applies to the mother’s spouse, regardless of the spouse’s gender.) The presumption of paternity has many serious implications. The child will have certain rights, such as financial and medical support, Social Security and inheritance benefits. A presumed father takes up those rights and responsibilities associated with being a legal parent, such as child custody/visitation and child support. If your husband is not the father of your unborn child, he may need to take legal action to absolve himself of responsibility for the child. These formal legal proceedings can include paternity suits, filiation hearings, parentage actions, or establishment hearings.
If the biological father of a child is not the husband, the biological father is not automatically granted legal rights regarding the child just because the child is biologically his. In order for him to become the legal father of the child, the presumed father—the husband, in this example—must relinquish his parental rights. He may or may not agree to doing so. Getting divorced while pregnant can be a tremendously emotional undertaking. In addition to hiring a knowledgeable family law attorney, many experts suggest seeking professional therapy and support from family and friends.
Compassionate Legal Aid
At The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates, we know that life does not always go according to plan. Sometimes, a marriage can fall apart at the worst possible time. If you are in a unique situation such as being pregnant while seeking a divorce, our team has the skills and knowledge to guide you through the divorce process. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney for help. Call 630-232-9700 today.