A divorce is a complicated, life-changing event—further complicated by pregnancy.
If you are currently pregnant, you may be wondering whether you can get a divorce while pregnant in Texas.
The short answer is no.
Although you can start the divorce process while pregnant, Texas law requires you to wait to finalize the divorce.
Can You Still File for Divorce While Pregnant in Texas?
If you and your spouse consider divorce in Texas while pregnant, be prepared to wait. While state law permits you to file for divorce while pregnant in Texas, courts will not finalize a divorce until the birth of your child. Additionally, Texas family law requires that a divorce case be on file for at least 60 days before the divorce decree issues. So even though you can’t finalize your divorce until the baby is born, there’s no reason to wait to file your divorce. If you don’t file until after the baby is born, you will be stuck waiting at least another 60 days.
A domestic violence exception permits bypassing the waiting periods required for a divorce while pregnant in Texas. In these situations, courts may issue a protective order forcing your spouse to move out and not contact you or any other children. If you are a victim of domestic violence while pregnant, contact a family law attorney today to protect you and your unborn child.
Factors That May Delay a Texas Divorce While Pregnant
In addition to the waiting periods implemented by Texas law, whether one can divorce while pregnant in Texas is quickly complicated by the following additional factors: Texas courts require resolution of paternity and child support issues after the birth of the child.
If you get pregnant while you are married, the Texas presumption of paternity recognizes your spouse as the biological father of your child. Therefore, the courts will wait to issue the divorce decree until the determination of child support, child visitation, and child custody issues after the child’s birth.
If your husband is not your child’s biological father, you still must wait to receive the finalization of your divorce in Texas. Although paternity issues do not hinder whether you can initially file for divorce while pregnant, these paternity issues may delay final judgment.
If your husband denies being the biological father of your child, you may need to conduct a paternity test after your child’s birth. However, if your husband refuses to submit to a paternity test, the court will not allow him to deny paternity.
Another way to rebut the presumption of paternity occurs when the presumed father files a denial of paternity and another man files an acknowledgement of paternity. Texas Family Code provides that the filing of these two documents discharges the presumed father from paternity and all rights and responsibilities of a parent.
As a child’s biological father must provide financial support, it’s best to uncover any paternity issues before obtaining a final divorce decree. If your spouse is not your child’s biological father, they will likely attempt to avoid financial responsibility for that child.
The answer to the question, Can I get a divorce while pregnant? is complicated. No law prohibits you from filing for divorce in Texas while pregnant. However, a resolution to your divorce must wait until the birth of your child. Despite these rules, pregnancy is not a permanent delay to your divorce.
If you have questions about a divorce while pregnant in Texas, contact The Larson Law Office today. The attorneys at The Larson Law Office provide custom, quality representation to all clients. We answer all questions from our clients personally and promptly. If you hire Erik or Diana as your divorce attorney, you only ever speak to Erik or Diana about your divorce.
The Larson Law Office commits to highly personalized representation, so no client ever feels left in the dark about their case. A divorce represents a deeply personal and emotional event. We support our clients through this transitional time and help you turn toward a brighter future for you and your family.
We dutifully represent clients in Houston, Texas, and surrounding metropolitan areas. Contact The Larson Law Office online, or call us today at 713-221-9088 for a complimentary case review regarding a divorce while pregnant in Texas.