What Happens if a Spouse Is Pregnant During an Illinois Divorce?
Countless issues can complicate the already complex legal process of ending a marriage. One of these complicating factors is pregnancy. If you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse is pregnant, and you plan to divorce, you probably have many questions and concerns. You may wonder how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be determined, or you may have worries about child support. Getting a divorce while a spouse is pregnant is possible under Illinois law, but it can be challenging both personally and legally.
Establishing Paternity of Your New Child
Paternity refers to the legal relationship between a father and a child. Illinois law presumes that when a married woman has a child, her husband is the child’s biological and legal father. The father does not need to take any additional steps to establish paternity. This is also true if the baby was conceived while the couple was married but is born after their marriage is dissolved. A father who has established paternity has the right to parenting time and may also have certain obligations, such as child support payments.
If a woman conceives a child during her marriage, but her husband is not the child’s biological father, the situation becomes more complicated. The presumed father may need to terminate his parental rights so that the biological father can establish his own parental rights. In some cases, a DNA paternity test may be needed to verify the biological relationship between the child and the father.
Creating a Parenting Plan
Divorced couples who share children are required to complete a parenting plan that describes each parent’s rights and responsibilities. The plan must identify which parent will have the majority of the parenting time, how significant decision-making responsibilities will be divided between the parents, when the child will spend time with each parent, and much more. Divorcing parents can and should discuss these issues before the baby is born, but they cannot really submit the official parenting plan with the court until after the child’s birth. Reaching a decision about the terms of a parenting plan can be very challenging if parents do not agree about what is best for their child. Fortunately, alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative law and mediation can help parents resolve child-related disagreements without courtroom litigation.
Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Getting a divorce while planning for the birth of your child is no easy task. Fortunately, you do not have to face this difficult situation alone. For help establishing paternity, creating a parenting plan, obtaining child support, and with other family law concerns, contact a knowledgeable Kane County family law attorney at MKFM Law. Call our office at 630-665-7300 today and schedule your free initial consultation.