Texas is just one of a few states that does not allow for divorce during a pregnancy.

While you cannot finalize a divorce while pregnant in Texas, you can file and undergo some of the beginning steps of the process. Mediation can be held and temporary orders can be put into place. However, the divorce will not be final until the baby is born.

Why make a couple wait? Is it to ensure a dad won't leave a child and its mother high and dry? Perhaps that's part of it, but it's mainly an issue of jurisdiction:

The court will not have jurisdiction over a child until it is born and, therefore, cannot make final decisions on issues such as child support, child custody, or even paternity.

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Why would anyone want to divorce while pregnant? There are probably infinite reasons, but the most troubling one is if there is domestic violence in the relationship.

Pregnancy can be a stressful time in the life of a married couple. Even loving couples in a healthy relationship will likely find themselves emotionally taxed at some point.

Quite sadly, the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. is homicide. When a spouse is abusive, the added tension of the pregnancy can send them over the edge.

It is for this reason that perhaps Texas should reconsider the law. Yes, a woman can still leave, but not allowing for a divorce gives the abuser another way to manipulate and control a pregnant person who is clearly in an already vulnerable state.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence there is help.

800-799-SAFE (7233)
24-Hour National Domestic Violence Hotline
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf: 800-787-3224 or thehotline.org

 

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