When a couple is pregnant, divorce becomes much more complicated—not just emotionally, but legally. Texas law allows opposite-sex couples to file for divorce if a partner is pregnant.
However, the divorce cannot be finalized until after the baby is born. That’s because important issues of child custody, child support and paternity must be resolved as part of the divorce, and the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the baby until after it’s born.
It Can’t Be Finalized, But You Can Still File for Divorce While Pregnant
While you may not be able to finalize your divorce until after the baby is born, it can still be to your advantage to file for divorce. Filing for divorce earlier can give you more time to negotiate with your partner and resolve important issues through mediation and in the courtroom. That way, you’ll be ready to move forward when Texas law permits.
You should also know that, while divorces cannot be finalized during pregnancy under Texas law, the court can still issue temporary orders. These orders cover child support, visitation and other important logistics.
Filing for Divorce When Someone Else is the Father
Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples don’t need to prove wrongdoing in order to file for divorce. For example, a husband doesn’t need to prove that the baby isn’t his to file for divorce. However, the paternity of the baby does generally affect the divorce process and outcome.
If the husband is the child’s genetic father, then the law requires that orders for child custody and child support must be included in the Final Decree of Divorce. If the husband is not the child’s genetic father, then the law requires that paternity must be established before the divorce can be finalized.
Pregnancy and Divorce in LGBTQ+ Marriages
If you are in a same-sex marriage and a partner is pregnant, it’s important to talk with a lawyer who is familiar with LGBTQ+ family issues. The law in this area is not as firmly established as the law for opposite-sex couples, and matters may be legally complicated.
Pregnant and Divorcing? We’re On Your Side.
At Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our experienced family law attorneys can help you navigate complex divorce issues, including divorce during pregnancy. We’re focused on providing clear guidance that protects your future and the people you care about most.