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Divorce During Pregnancy in Michigan

 Posted on May 22, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerPregnant women and expecting fathers have the same right to file for divorce as anyone else. However, in the interest of deciding a child custody plan and dividing your marital property in a single legal action, the court might wait until after your baby is born to finalize your divorce. This is because the court cannot rule on child custody for a child who has not been born. Michigan courts are required to consider the best interests of the child when ordering a child custody plan or approving the plan the parents have made, and a judge cannot claim to understand the best interests of a child who is in utero. An Oakland County, MI divorce lawyer can help you prepare for divorce during your or your spouse’s pregnancy.

Should We Wait Until After Birth to File for Divorce? 

You do not need to wait until your child is born to start divorce proceedings, although in some instances you may prefer to. When you are deciding when to file for divorce, consider:

  • Are you safe right now? Domestic violence is the number one cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. If you are not safe, it may be best to file for divorce - and get a protection order - immediately. 
  • Will you have the time and energy to work on your divorce with a newborn? When the baby comes, you will likely be quite exhausted from caring for your newborn - especially if you are living separately. It may be better to work out the details of your divorce and child custody plan while you are pregnant than to wait until you are a new parent. 
  • Are you having complications? On the other hand, if you are experiencing a complicated pregnancy and cannot handle the added stress of divorce mediation or litigation, it might be better to wait until your child is born and you have settled into a routine. 
  • Might the problems in your marriage be resolved? Pregnancy can have an unpredictable effect on the mental health and behavior of expectant mothers and fathers alike. It is not uncommon for spouses to experience conflict during pregnancy because one or both spouses are struggling with antenatal anxiety or depression, which can be treated. If the conflict is new and directly related to the pregnancy, you might want to consider seeking mental health care before deciding to get divorced. 

Contact a Northville, MI Divorce Lawyer 

Elkouri Heath, PLC is committed to helping parents and parents-to-be resolve their divorce and child custody issues out of court wherever possible. Our experienced Oakland County, MI divorce attorneys are highly skilled in divorce mediation and collaborative law. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation.

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