If you are pregnant and considering filing for divorce, you may be wondering if Michigan law prevents you from getting divorced while you are pregnant (as some states do), and you also likely have questions about how the court will handle questions concerning paternity and parentage, as well as child custody and parenting time. In short, you can file for divorce while you are pregnant in Michigan, but there are some important things for you to know about filing for divorce while you are pregnant. Our Michigan divorce attorneys have information to guide you as you prepare for your divorce.
Michigan Law Allows You to File for Divorce While You are Pregnant
Some states in the U.S. do not allow a divorce to be finalized when one of the parties is pregnant, but Michigan does allow pregnant individuals to file for divorce during the pregnancy. Depending upon the circumstances, it also may be possible for the judge to finalize the divorce case during the pregnancy. In some cases, however, you should anticipate that the judge might wait until the birth of the child to finalize the divorce. At a minimum, under Michigan law, divorces have a 60-day waiting period from the point of filing. Depending upon how far along you are in your pregnancy when you file for divorce, the timeline of the divorce process could necessitate waiting until after the birth to finalize the divorce.
You Must Disclose the Pregnancy in Your Divorce Complaint
When you file your divorce complaint in Michigan, you must disclose that you are pregnant (or that your current spouse is pregnant, depending upon your circumstances). The judge will need to know that you are pregnant in order to understand that your divorce case will need to include decisions and orders pertaining to child custody and parenting time, as well as to child support.
Like we mentioned above, in some cases, the judge might wait to finalize the divorce until after you give birth, but at the very least, the judge must know in advance that you are pregnant at the time of your divorce filing.
Paternity Issues Could Arise
Under Michigan law, paternity is automatically established if the parents are married when a child is born or when a mother becomes pregnant. Accordingly, in most divorce cases in which a pregnant spouse files for divorce, paternity will not be an issue since the pregnancy would have occurred while the parties were married. In some cases, however, questions about the child’s biological father may have led to the divorce filing, or an affair during the marriage might have led the pregnant spouse to file for divorce. In these cases, it may be necessary to establish paternity if another person may be the biological father of the child.
Contact an Experienced Michigan Divorce Attorney
If you are pregnant and planning to file for divorce, you should seek advice from a divorce attorney in Michigan as soon as possible. An advocate at our firm can discuss potential issues in your case with you today. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information about getting divorced during a pregnancy.