The divorce of comedian/actress Sherri Shepherd and TV writer Lamar Sally illustrates the unique challenges couples going through a Pasadena divorce may encounter if there are surrogacy issues.
Shepherd and Sally’s divorce was announced in May and they have a son about to be born via surrogate later this month. Last week, it was reported that the couple is fighting over who will be named the legal parents of the child.
Surrogacy agreements can take many forms. Sometimes donor sperm and/or donor eggs are used so that one of the parents is not biologically related to the child. Allegedly, the baby in the Shepherd and Sally case was conceived with Mr. Sally’s sperm and a donor egg. Assuming this is true, it would mean Ms. Shepherd has no biological relationship to the child.
Sally is claiming that Shepherd was actively involved in the surrogacy progress and eager have to another child. Shepherd is claiming that Sally defrauded her by tricking her into a surrogate birth arrangement with every intention of divorcing her and suing for child support. She reportedly does not want to be considered a legal parent to the child.
One of the reasons surrogacy is so complex is that the laws vary widely from state to state. Mr. Sally filed for divorce in California, which is considered a surrogacy-friendly state. Ms. Shepherd filed her response in New Jersey, which does not generally recognize surrogacy arrangements as legal. Sally is seeking primary legal and physical custody of the baby, but it’s difficult to predict how the child support issue will play out due to the different jurisdictions in which the couple is seeking to have the case tried.
If you are going through a divorce that involves surrogacy issues, seeking the assistance of a skilled attorney is strongly recommended. Surrogacy laws can be quite complex and an experienced attorney can help ensure that the legal rights of both you and your child are protected.
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Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena divorce law firm has extensive experience advocating for the needs of parents and their children.