Divorcing While Pregnant


Although some states will not allow you to file for divorce if you are pregnant, California does not prohibit a pregnant woman from filing for divorce in Pasadena. However, a woman who is pregnant will have a more complicated case than one who is not pregnant at the time of her divorce.

State law prohibits pregnant women from obtaining a summary dissolution, which is cheaper and quicker to process than a normal divorce. A pregnant woman will have to file normal divorce papers and wait until after the baby is born before the divorce can be finalized, even if this goes beyond the minimum six month waiting period.

Paternity concerns are the main reason for the longer wait time in a divorce involving a pregnant woman. If a couple was married at the time the baby was conceived, the husband is presumed to be the legal father of the baby. If the couple is divorcing because the woman was having an affair, a paternity test will be needed after the baby is born.

If the husband is found to be the father of the child, child support payments will need to be determined. Child support is based on the income of both parents, as well as the percentage of time the child spends with each parent. Daycare costs for the infant will need to be shared as well.

Determining visitation schedules with a newborn can be tricky, since infants need time to bond with a primary caregiver and won't react well to sudden changes. If the mother will be breastfeeding, overnight visits with the father will not be possible immediately. Shorter daytime visits, with the mother nearby for nursing as needed, will likely be the best option. The goal should be to foster a relationship with the father, so the child feels comfortable going on longer visits once breastfeeding has stopped or the baby is able to take a bottle.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena family law firm is staffed with experienced attorneys who are eager to advocate for the needs of both you and your child throughout the process.