Can I Get a Divorce During Pregnancy?

It’s intriguing how many people believe that a judge will not grant a divorce in Alabama if the wife is pregnant. They’re wrong. There’s nothing about pregnancy that makes an Alabama divorce unobtainable. Pregnancy does, however, make divorce both more complex and less complete. Here’s why.

It’s more complex to get a divorce while the wife is pregnant, because you must deal with the unborn child. In filing for divorce, you’ll need to provide evidence (usually by personal testimony) about whether the wife is expecting a child. If she’s not expecting, it’s quite simple. If she is pregnant, the approach that usually makes sense is to reserve all issues (paternity, custody, visitation, and support) to resolve later when the child has arrived safely and has a Social Security number.

It’s less complete to get a divorce while the wife is pregnant, because you will need to come back to court later to deal with the child. This is the case when both parties know they are the parents together of the child, and it’s also the case when the father suspects he may not be the father. In either case, the court will not and cannot address issues involving the child until after the child is born and has a Social Security number.

Because divorce is both more complex and less complete, the wisest approach in most circumstances when the wife is pregnant (unless there’s some reason why divorce MUST move forward) is to wait until the child is born and has a Social Security number. Then everything can be handled in one transaction at a lower cost.

The same factors that make waiting the wisest course in most circumstances are probably responsible for the assumption on the part of many that divorce is unobtainable while the wife is pregnant. It’s usually not a good idea, so we assume it’s impossible. That’s simplistic, but in most cases it probably leads to the right result.

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