COPING WITH DIVORCE WHILE PREGNANT
Here is an email I received a few months ago:
Can I come to see you? I am pregnant and my husband has just announced
he is leaving me for another woman. I feel sick! I just want to run away.
I know I can’t. I don’t know what to do. Please help!
It saddened me to see this email. And yes, of course I reached out and
helped this lovely young woman.
I am happy to report she has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy,
and she and her husband are working out their divorce issues using my
psychologically-infused divorce mediation process. We are currently working
on a visitation plan and things are going smoothly. It hasn’t been
easy, but my method has been productive. It’s important to know
if you find yourself in this situation a positive resolution is possible.
For most, having a baby is a glorious time in a couple’s life. It’s
all about shopping for baby furniture, selecting names, reading baby books
and preparing to bring a beautiful part of you into the world. For couples
who decide to divorce during a pregnancy whether it’s due to infidelity,
abuse, or simply irreconcilable differences this can be a very sad, and
emotionally difficult time.
It takes a lot of courage, while pregnant, to reach out for help and decide
First, I ask couples if it is at all possible to save their marriage. I
think the only responsible thing to do as a psychologically-trained divorce
attorney is to help the couple explore keeping the family together. Is
marriage counseling an option? A postnuptial agreement?
Sometimes marriages can be saved if a couple slows down, talks about what’s
going on and seeks a third party to shed some light on the problem.
Clearly in Nicole’s case saving the marriage was not an option. Her
husband was moving on with his life with another woman, no matter what.
Nicole shared with me later that there was trouble in their marriage before
the pregnancy. She thought (as some women do) getting pregnant would solve
their problems. Unfortunately, it didn’t. This particular mediation
case started out with a lot of anger and a lot of tears. After a few heated
meetings I was successfully able to guide them on productively communicating
and addressing their legal issues and creating a parenting plan they could
both live with. Their parenting plan, for example, included them both
creating an identical room for their baby in each of their homes so baby
Brian would have some familiar surroundings and continuity when he was
with each of them.
If you are pregnant and find yourself considering divorce there are ways
to move through this process with as little stress as possible.
A well though-out, comprehensive plan, along with the help of professionals,
and lots of love for your newborn will see you both through.
In developing your plan there are some crucial points to consider:
- If you are separating, live in close proximity to each other so you can
both spend quality time with your newborn;
- Try to be civil to each other in the presence of your newborn; (babies
pick-up on emotional turmoil);
- Come together for the sake of the baby-discussing names, planning the baby’s
room; and surround yourselves with supportive friends and family
- Start discussing terms about child support and visitation sooner, rather
- It’s important to note some states prohibit divorce during pregnancy,
some do not. Please check the laws of the state in which you reside.
If you are divorcing while pregnant I can help you through the process.
I have helped quite a few couples over the last 35+ years. Your pregnancy
can still be joyful even through a divorce. Surround yourself with the
right people to help get you through. If I can help, don’t hesitate
to call. 212. 734.1551.