She’s pregnant and you (or her) want a divorce? The kicker is she told you the child is not yours. A few questions probably come to mind in this situation: Can I file for a divorce when she is pregnant? Will I be responsible for medical bills from the birth of the child? Am I going to get stuck with child support? Keep reading and hang in there, we’ll address these questions and some other situations that could arise as you work through the divorce process.
Chances are your head is spinning at this point, full of what-if’s, what-should’s and what-the-heck do I do? Let’s look at the first question, “Can I file for divorce while she’s pregnant?” Well, the answer is yes. According to Jay W. Neff of Goldberg Jones, a law firm devoted solely to the practice of family law specifically representing men, you can file for divorce, but in most if not all states, the child will have to be born before the divorce can be finalized.
You say the child is not yours? Well, you might not be the biological father but as far as some states are concerned, if you are married when the child is born, even if you are on different planets, the child is legally yours. Don’t freak out, there is a solution. After the baby is born you can file to establish paternity so there are no doubts. Be careful at the hospital when the child is born and it comes to the birth certificate; don’t let your name get added as the father. Hopefully the biological father will be there or at least your soon to be ex can has his name put on as the father. In many states it is possible for the biological father and your ex to sign a declaration of paternity. This can be done in the hospital after the child is born or signed after leaving the hospital. Filing to establish paternity, the biological fathers name on the birth certificate and a signed declaration of paternity should go a long way to releasing you from any financial obligations concerning the child.
Who picks up the tab? If your spouse is on your insurance and you two are still married, it’s best to let your insurance handle it. If a civil discussion can be had between the three of you, you might be able to work something out financially regarding the hospital and doctor bills. Don’t forget, your ex will require numerous trips to the doctor and possible tests and procedures as an outpatient at the hospital. Not to mention any pre-birth classes or groups. It’s best to work out all of this before the time comes. You don’t want to be stuck in a Lamaze class while the biological father gets out of it and is watching the game at the bar.
Divorce is a messy business when there are no children in the equation, now adding a child to the mix, especially a child that is not yours, can make a bad situation even worse. What’s important is to take care of you emotionally but just as important, financially. Hire a good attorney that specializes in divorce and if there is an attorney in your area that concentrates on helping men, consider that firm as they will have the experience you are looking for.
Itâ€™s a messed up situation but just like all hurdles in life, if you keep at it, stay focused on the task at hand and realize that this too will pass, you will survive when you want a divorce and she’s pregnant.