Can I Pursue a Divorce During a Pregnancy?
The decision to end a marriage through divorce is not a decision anyone takes lightly. If you are pregnant and in a marriage which you believe is irretrievable, you may be considering divorce. Getting a divorce while expecting a child can be challenging. Depending on your unique situation, it may be best to stay married until after the birth of your child while in other circumstances, divorcing while pregnant might be the better option. Whether your spouse is the parent of your expectant child or the pregnancy is a result of infidelity, divorce during pregnancy can become very complicated from a legal perspective.
Illinois No Longer Requires Fault Grounds for Divorce
Expecting a child cannot disallow a woman from filing for divorce. In the state of Illinois, you also do not have to prove any reason for wanting to end your marriage. The so-called “fault grounds” for divorce in Illinois have been eliminated in favor of one option: "irreconcilable differences.” Presently in Illinois, to be granted a divorce, you must only prove that:
- Irreconcilable differences have caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage;
- Previous efforts at resolution have failed, and
- Future efforts at reconciliation would not be in the best interests of the family.
In Illinois, a Woman’s Husband is Assumed to Be the Father
Illinois law provides that a woman’s husband is presumed to be the legal father of any children she conceives while married. This presumption of parentage also applies in same-sex marriages. A child conceived by a woman in a legal marriage will have rights to financial and medical support from the assumed parent, as well as Social Security and inheritance benefits. Furthermore, a presumed parent takes on all the legal responsibilities associated with being a parent, such as sharing child custody and providing child support.
If you are pregnant and married and your spouse is not the parent of your child, your spouse may need to take steps to release himself or herself of legal parental responsibility. This can be accomplished through paternity suits, parentage actions, or establishment hearings. If the biological father of your child is not your spouse, the biological father can only establish parentage if your husband first relinquishes his parental rights.
Experienced Wheaton Paternity and Parentage Attorneys
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our skilled Kane County family law attorneys know that life does not always go as expected. For sound legal guidance for all of your family law needs, schedule a confidential consultation with our firm. Call 630-549-0960 today.