Even in the best circumstances, filing for a divorce from your spouse can be an emotionally draining process. Pregnancy frequently makes the divorce feel even more overwhelming. Check out a few things you need to know about seeking a divorce during pregnancy.
1. Your State May Not Allow Divorce During Pregnancy
There are some states that have laws that explicitly prohibit filing for divorce during pregnancy. Certain states do have provisions for abusive relationships; ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to accept the divorce filing. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in family law to learn the rules in your area.
2. Even If Your State Permits Divorce During Pregnancy, It May Be Best to Wait Until the Baby is Born
Some lawyers recommend that you wait until the baby is born before filing for divorce. If you file for divorce before the baby is born, your divorce decree will likely not include items related to the care of the baby, like child support and who has physical versus legal custody of your child. Though you can address these items once the baby is born. this increases the overall cost of your divorce, as your lawyer has to file more paperwork and go back to court.
If you do decide to wait til your baby is born to actually file for divorce, there are still some tasks you can accomplish in the meantime. For example, you can discuss how you want to divide assets, debts, and possessions. If you have other children, you can discuss potential schedules for visitation and who will cover what expenses.
3. Having One Parent Act as a Primary Caregiver When the Baby is Young is Usually Recommended
Once the baby is born, it is usually best for one parent to act as the baby's primary caregiver. If mom is nursing, spending extended periods of time away from baby can disrupt her milk production. Understandably, both parents want to spend time with and bond with their new baby. However, a frequently changing environment can lead to attachment issues for your baby.
One visitation plan that works well for small babies is having the non-primary caregiver come by each day for a few hours and even stay part of the night if possible. The non-primary caregiver can assist with baby's care and nighttime feedings while giving the primary caregiver a break. Should the baby need to nurse, the primary caregiver is still close by.
Once baby gets older, you can propose a more traditional visitation schedule that includes overnight visits. For more help, contact professionals like Caldwell Kennedy & Porter.