Can Pregnancy Prevent a Divorce?

More traditionally, many people used to get married JUST to have babies. The topic of having children is different for every couple. For some, it is high on the list of wants, for others it may be low on the list or even undesirable. Despite that, accidents do still happen and many couples find out that they are pregnant unexpectedly, even when their relationship is on the verge of divorce. So, if you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering "can being pregnant prevent a divorce?"

Can Pregnancy Halt Your Divorce?

The short answer is NO. In New Jersey a divorce can proceed and be finalized even if they are pregnant.

Getting divorced or making the decision to separate from your spouse is difficult enough and the process is made even more difficult if the couple is expecting a baby. When one spouse is pregnant, the stress and sadness that accompanies splitting up can seem overwhelming.

It is first important to note that a pregnancy will in no way prevent you or your spouse from filing for a divorce. Either party at any time may request that the process begin, even if they know they are pregnant. In other words, if you know you want to file for divorce, but know or believe that you or your spouse is pregnant, there is no legal requirement to delay simply because of that fact.

What Will Happen if a Baby is Born After a Couple Divorces?

It is well known that a divorce or separation will result in a parenting schedule or parenting plan for the children that are already born at the time of divorce or separation. There can be a variety of other issues which may arise in the event that one spouse is pregnant at the time the divorce starts or at the time the separation begins.

Moreover, if the child is of the marriage, the child will not be treated any differently under New Jersey law than those children who were born before the separation or divorce.

  • The parties will still have to have a parenting plan and a child support order for the child.
  • The non-pregnant spouse may very well be ordered to pay part of the birthing expenses and pre-natal expenses for the child.

It is strongly urged to consult with a trusted New Jersey lawyer if you are considering divorce, especially if you or your spouse is pregnant.

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About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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