An interesting article caught my attention today in The Indiana Lawyer’s November edition entitled “Common Misconception” written by Rebecca Berfanger. In her article, Ms. Berfanger discusses the misconception in Indiana among people that couples cannot get divorced in Indiana if the wife discloses that she is pregnant. She discusses that the basis for this common misconception is likely due in large part to an Indiana statute that requires couples, at the time of filing for divorce, to disclose if the wife is pregnant. The article goes on to say that with this disclosure, it is ultimately up to the Judge and the circumstances of the case as to whether he or she will grant the divorce.
As I read on, the article specifically notes that in Central Indiana attorneys say that it is extremely rare for a Judge to grant a divorce to a couple with a pregnant wife. It goes on to say that the reason for requiring this disclosure is due to the public policy issues of having children born outside of a marriage, including who is responsible for the child in terms of financial support, custody and visitation. However, some Judges will grant the divorce and bifurcate the other issues until after the child is born.
Obviously, there are all kinds of reasons why people choose to divorce, but after reading this article, my first thought was “what if the relationship is abusive?” The article mentions that if this reason is presented to the court, a Judge may still require a couple to wait until after the child is born, but obviously, other protections can be put into place. The whole article can be read in its entirety at www.theindianalawyer.com.
BFSO readers, I would love to hear your opinions and feelings about this issue. Do you feel that a couple should be restricted on divorcing if there is a pregnancy involved? I look forward to hearing from you.
Peace & Blessings,