Pregnant Women In Missouri Cannot Legally Obtain A Divorce
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Choosing to get a divorce feels like a decision that should only be made by the people who want it. But in some states, pregnancy complicates this. If you go to the American Pregnancy Association website, you will find tips on how to deal with divorce during pregnancy. The nonprofit focuses on reproductive health and wellness during pregnancy, and its first tip is to see if your condition allows you to divorce during pregnancy.
Yes, you read correctly. In some states, the courts will not grant divorce to a married couple if the wife is pregnant, APA wrote. Courts prefer to wait until after the child is born to address paternity.
In Missouri, for example, state law requires divorce papers to confirm whether the wife is pregnant, along with other basic information such as name and address. While a pregnant woman can file for divorce, he cannot terminate the divorce until the birth of the child. why is that? According to Missouris Benner Family Code, the husband is presumed to be the father by law, and to prove paternity, a couple needs to wait until birth to determine child support and child custody based on the outcome.
The ACLU challenged a version of this law in Washington state in 2009 when a case in 2005 attracted national attention. The ACLU won but only at the state level. Similar laws still apply in Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Texas.
A pregnant woman in Missouri cannot legally obtain a divorce. my Lord.
What You Need To Learn About Filing For A Dissolution Of Marriage
1. Starting the case: the Petition
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
2. How is the case filed?
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
3. What forms need to be filed?
4. What if my spouse gave birth to a child while we were married, but I am not the biological parent of the child?
Presumed Father’s Petition for Declaration of Non-Paternity
5. How is the other spouse notified about the filing of the case?
- Waiver of Personal Service: The respondent accepts the petition and signs a form called âEntry of Appearance and Waiver of Service.â This form must be signed before a notary public and filed with the court.
- Personal Service: The sheriff or other court officer hand delivers the petition and the summons to the respondent. It is important to provide the court with very specific information about where, how, and when to find the respondent.
- Private or Special Process Server: A special or private process server may be appointed by the court when the respondent is difficult to find or if the respondent is trying to avoid being served. This is a situation where you may need to consult with an attorney who will know how to help you.
6. What happens when the respondent is served?
7. Do we have to agree on everything?
8. Can I contact the judge assigned to my case if I have questions or concerns?
9. When is the case ready for a hearing?
10. How is the hearing scheduled?
Social Media Posts Claim Pregnant People Cannot Get Divorced In Missouri This Is Misleading Missouri Law Does Not Prevent The Initiation Of Divorce Proceedings While Pregnant But Family Law Experts Said A Pregnancy Must Be Disclosed To The Judge Who May Delay A Final Ruling Until After The Birth In Order To Resolve Custody
“In Missouri, women cannot get divorced if they are pregnant,” says a June 24, 2022 post on Twitter. “With Roe v Wade overturned, what do you think will happen to abused wives in that state?”
The post accumulated hundreds of likes and retweets. Similar claims have circulated on and TikTok.
“Now here’s a fun little fact: Did you know that, in Missouri, if you’re pregnant you can’t get divorced?” said Jessica Piper, a Democratic candidate for the state’s House of Representatives, in a May 13, 2022 TikTok post.
The posts spread online after the US Supreme Court ruled June 24 to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the right to abortion nationwide.
Missouri was the first state to outlaw abortion following the ruling, and nearly half are expected to pass other restrictions. There are no exceptions to Missouri’s abortion ban, including for cases of rape or incest.
Missouri requires those seeking a divorce to disclose whether they are pregnant, and judges often do not finalize separations until a baby is born. But the law does not prevent pregnant people from initiating a divorce, as other media outlets have reported.
Barbara Glesner Fines, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, told AFP that while Missouri law “does provide that a petition for divorce must identify whether the wife is pregnant,” the law does not explicitly bar courts from “granting a divorce because a party is pregnant.”
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Surround Yourself With A Supportive Entourage And Dont Be Afraid To Ask Friends And Family For Help
It is okay to ask for help with cooking meals, household chores, childcare for your other children, or just ask for a listening ear so you can process your emotions. A strong support system will help you get through this emotionally taxing experience. Accept as much assistance as you need while you work through your divorce to help reduce stress to yourself and your unborn baby. It is also okay to continue to ask for help after the baby arrives dont be afraid to ask family and friends if they can take the baby for a few hours so you can get some sleep.
Should You File For Divorce When Pregnant
The answer to this question will vary from one couple to the next. In some cases, the desire to start the procedure might be strong, even though it might not be able to be completed until the child is born. Its important to keep in mind that the process of getting divorced while pregnant will be stressful.All of that stress is not good for the mother. For this reason, some couplesor just one partymight decide that even though they know they are going to be getting a divorce, they will wait until after the baby is born to begin filing any paperwork. It can help to reduce some of the stress and allow the mother to focus on the child.Husbands who want to make sure that they will have parenting time and legal decision-making for their child may find that its easier to wait until the child is born before getting a divorce. This will establish that they are the legal father of the child.Of course, delaying the divorce is not always the best decision either. In cases where there is abuse in the marriage, getting the ball rolling and getting a protective order might be the best decision. Once a protective order and other orders are in place, they will be effective during the divorce proceedings.Each situation is different. Sometimes, you cant wait to file the paperwork, and other times it might be better to get the ball rolling now. Take the time to consider your goals and what you need and then make your decision on how to proceed.
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Will A Missouri Judge Split Our Property 50/50
In Missouri, divorce courts follow an equitable distribution of propertynot a community property approach. This means a judge will divide your marital property equitably or fairly, but not necessarily equally.
Also, when making decisions about property division, a judge will take certain factors into consideration, including:
- each spouse’s economic circumstances
Can Pregnant Women Get Divorced In Missouri
ST. LOUIS Nearly every morning, our Fox2Now.com staff will check Google Trends to see what people are searching for in St. Louis, Missouri, and beyond, or potential story ideas. On Thursday, we discovered a lot of people were searching to see if pregnant women could get divorced in Missouri.
Its an odd query at first blush. Perhaps this was connected to a conspiracy theory of some kind in need of closer examination . But this is no fantasy or foolhardy contrivance meant to dupe the public. It turns out pregnant women really cannot get divorced in the state of Missouri.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a non-profit focused on reproductive health and pregnancy wellness, Missouri is one of four states where courts will not grant a divorce if the woman is pregnant.
Its state law, covered in , under Dissolution of Marriage. When a person files a petition for divorce , they must include certain information in their paperwork eight items specifically. Item five specifically states the petitioner must identify whether the wife is pregnant.
How Do I Serve The Divorce Complaint On My Spouse In Missouri How Long Do I Have To Wait To Receive My Divorce
When you file your petition for dissolution, a copy will be delivered to the sheriff or a process server if you request. Either the sheriff or process server will serve the petition on your spouse, and will make a report to the court that he served the petition.
You will have to wait a minimum of 30 days after you file your petition before the court can grant a divorce. However, if the opposing party is served, then the opposing party has 30 days to file an Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and/or Answer to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
Upon opposing party filing an Answer and/or Answer and Counter-Petition, then the case progresses in a normal manner within the court system and it is difficult to forecast how long it will take for the court to grant the divorce.
It Can Be Complicated
No one gets married and then pregnant with the intention of getting a divorce. When someone finds themselves in a situation where they need to get a divorce, it means that there are serious issues with the marriage that cant be worked out. The addition of the unborn child complicates the divorce more than it would have been. This means that its in your best interest to talk with an attorney if youre planning on getting divorced while pregnant.While you arent technically required to have an attorney for your case, the more complicated divorces are not always as easy to handle on your own. Whether you are the one who is pregnant or not, you will find that getting some advice from an attorney who has worked in these types of situations will be very helpful. They can give you guidance on what you need to do, the paperwork you need to file, when you can file, etc. Its not as easy as an uncontested divorce with no kids.
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Hey Missouri Is A Fetus A Person Or Isn’t It
A bizarre Missouri law has been getting national attention after a viral tweet and subsequent story from the Riverfront Times revealed a little-known statute essentially barring pregnant people from getting divorced.
Under the Missouri law, a pregnant person can still file for divorce, but a judge can and typically does refuse to grant that divorce until they have given birth or are otherwise no longer pregnant, possibly via a miscarriage or abortion, which is, of course, also now a crime in Missouri after six weeks.
If that sounds like some dystopian-level archaic misogyny, it definitely is! Its also dangerous. People who are experiencing intimate partner violence are more at risk of being killed by their abusive partner during pregnancy and homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women. In 2009, a Washington court ruled in favor of a pregnant woman whose husband had become abusive, declaring that the states Equal Rights Amendment prohibited gender-based discrimination, which includes denying her the right to get a divorce based on her pregnancy status.
Divorce While Pregnant Laws In Missouri
pregnant woman image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from Fotolia.com
As a legal proceeding, divorce must be approved by state courts before it is finalized in Missouri. Certain requirements must be met before divorce proceedings can be completed. If a couple seeks divorce while the woman is pregnant, the court must consider additional factors. Pregnancy can delay the finalization of divorce until after the child is born.
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Getting Divorced While Pregnant
- Modern Law
Being pregnant is typically a time of happiness and joy for most couples. However, we all know that this is not always the case. There could be any number of reasons that the relationship is not doing well. The couple may have been fighting and considering divorce for a while. Maybe the husband is physically or verbally abusive. Maybe the husband is not the father of the child. Regardless, you may be wondering if getting divorced while pregnant is an option in Arizona.
Does The Court Make Exceptions In Cases Of Abuse
No, the court still cannot grant a divorce if a child is not born, but “There are quite a few avenues or methods for an abused woman to be protected until the baby is born.”
“They can file the divorce. They can get a temporary restraining order if it’s an abusive situation. They can get what’s called an adult abuse order of protection they can obtain that,” Fredrick said. “If there’s a crime that’s been committed, they can contact police and have criminal charges brought, and as part of the criminal case, most likely, the bond conditions would include no contact with the victim.”
The Missouri Courts website offers a list of resources on their website as well, outlining options and statutes that define domestic violence and stalking.
In Greene County, the Victim Center and Harmony House share a 24/7 hotline, 417-864-7233 , where victims of abuse can call for guidance and help.
Susan Szuch is the health and public policy reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on Twitter @szuchsm. Story idea? Email her at [email protected].
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How Is A Missouri Divorce Granted Will I Have To Go To Court
Only a judge may grant a divorce.
If you and your spouse do not agree on all of the issues in your case, you will have to go to court to have the judge decide those matters. Most judges prefer that each party attend any and all settlement/pre-trial conferences set on their case as judges are of the opinion that the parties should be involved in their case and show interest.
There will be opportunities for a partial or complete resolution to settle all of the issues in your case without formal court proceedings. These may include mediation, informal negotiations, and settlement conferences in court, all of which require your appearance.
Depending on the complexity of the issues that cannot be resolved and the amount of evidence that is presented to the court, a trial can last a few hours or several days or even longer.
Can A Divorce Be Finalized In Missouri If One Party Is Pregnant
The short answer is no.
“If you have a child who is born during the marriage, you need to ascertain the paternity and, most likely, the custody arrangement for that child,” Fredrick said. “You can’t just leave that child hanging in a lurch, without a determined father or any kind of custodial arrangement.”
In order to establish paternity someone’s legal status as the parent of a child the child has to be present.
“You can’t do a paternity case without the child technically the child is a party to the case in a paternity case,” Fredrick said. “You appoint a next friend to determine the best interest of the child, but the laws do not allow for paternity to be established for an unborn child.”
Even if the paternity claims are not in question, the court cannot determine custodial arrangements without the child.
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At Any Time Can A Parent Change A Minor Childs Last Name During A Divorce In Missouri Without The Other Parents Permission
Court approval is required to legally change a persons name. In the case of a minor child, the parent seeking to change the childs name would be required to file a separate cause of action. The other parent would have to be served and given notice of the proposed name change and would be given the opportunity to be involved in this decision.
Find Out If Your State Will Allow You To Get Divorced While Pregnant
For example, in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas the courts will not grant a divorce to a married couple if the wife is pregnant. The courts prefer to wait until after the baby is born to address paternity. The court can then determine if appropriate child-related orders, such as child support, need to be included.
Can You Get Divorced
Most states will allow you to get a divorce if you are pregnant, but this is not always entirely true. Some states have certain guidelines that could delay the process of getting a divorce when you are pregnant. These states include Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona.In Arizona, there arent any special additional requirements or prerequisites that need to be met to file for divorce when you or your spouse is pregnant. Of course, you will have to meet the residency requirement to file for divorce. This means that you or your spouse will need to have legally lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for a divorce.As long as that has been met, you can file the divorce petition in your county. However, even though you can file for divorce, its likely that the divorce will not be finalized in the typical timeframe.This is because there may be issues with the children that will have to wait until after the birth of the baby before they can be decided. Courts cant make orders on child support or child custody until after the birth of the child. This can push the divorce finalization back by quite a few months.