Sometimes the best thing to do for yourselves and your child is to separate and begin the divorce process. It can be emotionally and legally challenging to get a divorce while a female spouse is pregnant. If your relationship with your child’s mother is ending in a difficult divorce, she may be motivated to keep you out of her life – and therefore, her child’s life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to assert your rights as a parent. Even if your divorce finalizes before the child is born, you will likely still be considered a legal parent to that child. This remains true if the child is not biologically yours, but was meant to be the child of both of you. If you will need the court to intervene, it is best to work with an attorney. There are some steps that must be taken promptly, and an attorney can guide you through the process.
Will My Unborn Child Legally be My Child?
If your child is born within 300 days of the date your divorce was finalized, your child can likely be automatically deemed your legal child. This is true for same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples. Generally, the state will presume that if a person became pregnant during their marriage, the child is that of both spouses.
How Can Expecting a Child Change the Divorce Process?
You will likely need to complete a parenting plan before your divorce can be finalized. Although the child has not been born yet, it is still important that the parents have an agreement or court order in place regarding who will spend time with the child and when, and whether one parent will make child support payments.
What if My Spouse Denies that I am the Child’s Father?
You may need to ask the court to take action to determine whether you are the father. Your attorney will likely begin by filing a motion to adjudicate parentage. The mother must be served with copies of the petition your attorney files to start the case.
Next, a hearing date will likely be set. You, your lawyer, and the mother should all attend the hearing. If the mother denies that you are the father, the court can order a DNA test to determine whether you are. If the DNA test shows that you are the father, you can move on to pursuing parenting time and other parental rights incident to your divorce.
Contact a DuPage County Parentage Attorney
[[title]] is experienced in helping putative fathers resolve their parentage cases. Our skilled DuPage County parentage lawyers will guide you through the process. For a confidential consultation, please contact us at [[phone]].