Going through a divorce while pregnant can be stressful. In addition to the emotional aspect, there may be added legal delays to the divorce until the child is born in order to address all the issues that apply to the child in the final divorce order. Additionally, in Illinois, pregnancy does affect a couple’s ability to get a simplified divorce. A pregnancy does not halt a divorce or act as a barrier for a judge dissolving the marriage.
The potential issues that are raised by a pregnancy in the context of a divorce are child support, parental responsibility, and time sharing. These issues would not be present in a divorce between couples with no children who may be able to go through a simplified divorce in Illinois.
When a couple files for a simplified divorce, they generally have agreed to most of the issues, such as the division of marital property and debt, and are willing to waive support from each other. There are several requirements the couple must meet in order to get a simplified divorce, including that the couple has been married for less than eight years, and that the wife not be pregnant by her husband.
Legally, a child born within a marriage in Illinois is presumed to be fathered by the husband. This means that the father is generally responsible for paying child support for the child. However, another man may acknowledge paternity by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This would mean that the man acknowledging paternity will be responsible for supporting the child, and not the husband.
With a signed acknowledgment of paternity from another man, the court issuing the divorce order would not order the husband to pay child support or grant the husband any parental responsibility or time sharing in relation to the child. The acknowledgment of paternity can clear the way for a judge to enter a final order on the divorce without waiting to determine issues related to the unborn child.
Without another man acknowledging paternity of the child, a husband who challenges the paternity of the child as part of the divorce process can ask the court to order a DNA test after the child is born to establish paternity. Because the test has to be done after the child is born, the divorce would be delayed because of this.
A wife’s pregnancy by another man can be proof of infidelity, however, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, and it is not necessary to allege infidelity in order to get a divorce.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are pregnant and considering filing for divorce, or you are seeking to divorce your pregnant spouse, and wondering how the pregnancy could affect the divorce process, contact the passionate Naperville divorce attorneys at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC for a consultation.