Your marriage can break down at any time, even when you are pregnant. However, pregnancy may complicate your divorce so you should know these three things if you intend to divorce while pregnant:
State Laws Will Affect Your Decision
Don't waste time preparing for divorce without knowing whether your state's laws allow people to divorce during pregnancy; some states don't allow it. Other states (such as Arkansas) allow you to file for divorce but won't grant you the final divorce agreement until after delivery. That requirement will affect your plans if you are in your first trimester and wanted a quick divorce.
The Timing May Affect the Paternity of the Baby
You should also know that the timing of your divorce agreement may affect your baby's paternity. Usually, your partner automatically becomes your baby's legal father if you deliver the baby before the divorce is finalized. However, depending on your state's law on the issue, this may not be necessarily true if you deliver the baby after the divorce is finalized.
The issue of paternity is serious and has long-term consequences because a legal father has some rights that other people don't have. For example, your baby's father has a say on your child's religion or schooling while others don't have that right. Therefore, know what you want and time your divorce to achieve it.
You May Start Child Support Negotiations
Lastly, if you have decided to go ahead with the divorce, you should know that you don't have to wait for your baby to be born to start child support negotiations; you can start the negotiations right away. In fact, it's advisable to start the negotiations so that the child support agreement becomes part of your divorce agreement. If you don't do that and wait until after the baby is born, you will have to go back to court for the child support hearing, which may be costly.
At the same time, you should check if your start laws allow you to demand support for pregnancy-related costs; some states do. In fact, some states will ask your partner to reimburse you for delivery-related costs if your partner doesn't pay their fair share of the costs during delivery.
It's clear that pregnancy complicates divorce, but it doesn't rule it out. You just need to be a little bit more careful and protective of your legal rights. The best way to do this is to consult an attorney immediately you have decided to divorce your partner.