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Divorce While Pregnant in Missouri Explained
National attention has been drawn to a little-known Missouri law that virtually prevents pregnant women from divorcing their spouses.
A pregnant person can still apply for divorce under Missouri law, but a judge can, and usually does, refuse to issue that divorce until they’ve given birth or until they are no longer pregnant.
In Missouri, can a divorce be finalized even if one of the parties is pregnant?
The quick response is usually no. This is due to the possibility that there may be child-related concerns that cannot be resolved until after the baby is born. Before the child is born, the court cannot issue a custody or maintenance order. This may delay the divorce’s finalization for several months.
If you have a child who is born during the marriage, you need to establish the paternity and, most likely, the custody agreement for that child. You can’t simply disregard that child without a committed father or any type of custody agreement worked out.
The child must be present in order to establish paternity, which is someone’s legal position as the parent of a child.
The child is technically a party to the case in a paternity lawsuit, thus you can’t have a paternity case without the child, according to Fredrick. The laws do not permit paternity to be proven for an unborn kid, but you can designate a next friend to decide what is in the child’s best interest.
The court cannot make custody decisions without the child, even if the paternity claims are uncontested.
You are not required to remain with your spouse.
You do not need to remain with your husband during this time if your divorce cannot be finalized until after the birth of your child. The most crucial thing to do if you don’t feel safe in your marriage and are concerned that your spouse might hurt you is to take precautions for your own safety. If you have been assaulted, look for a new place to live and get in touch with the police and a lawyer who can assist you in obtaining a protection order.
Should a pregnant woman file for divorce?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that getting divorced while pregnant will be stressful (especially when contemplating gathering proof, etc., in a highly contested divorce).
The mother doesn’t need all that worry in her life. Due to this, some couples—or just one party—may decide to postpone filing for divorce until after the baby is born, even though they already know they will do so. It can aid in easing some of the tension and enable the mother to give her child her full attention.
Waiting until the baby is born to get a divorce may be preferable for husbands who want to ensure that they will have parenting time and legal decision-making for their child. This will prove that they are the child’s legitimate father.
Naturally, postponing the divorce is not always the wisest line of action. The best course of action in cases of marital abuse may be to start the process of obtaining a protective order. A protective order, along with other orders, will take effect after they are put in place throughout the divorce process.
Should you consult a lawyer?
With the unborn child issue included, the divorce becomes more difficult than it would have been. This means that if you intend to get divorced while pregnant, it would be in your best advantage to speak with a lawyer.
The more difficult divorces are not always as simple to manage on your own, even if you’re not legally bound to retain an attorney for your case. You’ll discover that speaking with a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to this can be quite beneficial. They can advise you on what to do, what papers to file, when to file, and other things. It’s not as simple as a childless, uncontested divorce.
Contact a St. Charles Family Law Expert
If pregnancy will be an issue in your divorce, our family law attorneys will provide you with knowledgeable legal advice and help you decide what is best for your situation. Call Shea Kohl Law, LC right away at (636) 946-9999 so that we may discuss the details of your case.
Call Shea Kohl Law, LC at (636) 946-9999
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