The decision to get a divorce is often one of the most difficult decisions one can face. It can become even more difficult if this decision is reached during pregnancy, a period already associated with some of life’s most physically demanding and emotionally draining concerns.
Some States Do Not Allow Divorce During Pregnancy But NJ Does
Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas do not allow couples to finalize their divorce until after the child’s birth. However, in the State of New Jersey a divorce proceeding will still move forward whether or not you are pregnant. In New Jersey, there is a presumption that the child has been fathered by the husband. This legal status has financial consequences that may affect the terms of the divorce settlement. Custody issues of the unborn child can also be addressed during the divorce process.
One reason a couple may not want to divorce during a pregnancy is the continuance of the health care coverage for both mother and baby. If the parties wait to be divorced until after the birth of the baby, health care coverage continues uninterrupted for both mother and baby. Upon divorce, the mother will be responsible for her own health care coverage and the baby will continue to be eligible to be covered by either parent.
Alimony is often awarded to the lesser-earning spouse to help them adjust to life after the divorce with the goal of achieving financial independence. While a new mother may wish to stay home with the new baby, the courts are not obligated to impose that arrangement on the father. However, the timing of the birth can be considered when striking an alimony agreement.
Even a straightforward joint custody agreement may have special considerations during the newborn stage. Breast feeding, napping and many other factors need to be considered with a newborn. In the beginning, there may be no overnights. As the child grows older and more independent, the court may ease into an gradual overnight parenting schedule.
Starting the Process
Even if you decide to wait to finalize the divorce, you may want to file the paperwork with the court before the baby is born. Another alternative is to start a mediation process to work out the details of the divorce ahead of time, so the agreement is in place before of the baby’s arrival.
Bridgewater Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Through Divorce
It can be helpful to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side as you navigate the divorce process. If you are pregnant and seeking a divorce, contact the Bridgewater divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. We will represent your interests in the negotiations. Contact us online or call us at 908-575-9777 to set up a free consultation. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.