Divorce is stressful. Pregnancy is stressful. And both at the same time?
When divorce comes up during a pregnancy, there are a lot of questions to ask. How does the divorce affect child custody? What about child support? If you divorce before birth, is it easier or harder to deal with these issues?
For fathers, the divorce might bring up worries about legal paternity, which is required for the father to have visitation rights, custody and child support obligations. Fortunately, establishing paternity even in divorce is usually a simple process. If the parties are married, then paternity is automatically presumed. If the parties are unmarried, the father can submit a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (which won’t include child custody or child support issues) or file a judicial action for paternity (which will include support and custody issues. If, for whatever reason, the mother decides to deny paternity, then the father would have to undergo a paternity test.
Fathers may also worry that they will be less likely to have custody of the baby. As far as the law is concerned, that is not true ”“ both parents have equal claim to the child. However, the courts are responsible for assigning custody and will have to approve any proposed custody plans. They will only approve what they feel is within the child’s best interest. Judges understand the need for both parents to foster a connection with the baby and will often recommend frequent visitation for the non-custodial parent. The best way to ensure a parenting time schedule that works best for you and your child is through mediation, rather than just letting the judge come up with one.
As for child support, it works the same way for pre-birth babies as it does for ones that are born. You can petition for child support even before the baby is born, and it is calculated the same way (and you can find out how it is calculated using our app.) You shouldn’t wait to file for child support, but know that no orders will be given until the baby is born.
Our Denver family lawyers are well-equipped to assist pregnant mothers in matters of family law.