Missouri Divorce Pregnant Law: Can a Pregnant Woman Get a Divorce in Missouri?

Can A Pregnant Women Divorce In Missouri

In the realm of family law, the intersection of pregnancy and divorce presents unique challenges, particularly in states like Missouri where specific regulations govern these circumstances. Despite the complexities, efforts are underway to address and potentially amend the existing legal framework to better serve pregnant women seeking divorce.

Can A Pregnant Women Divorce In Missouri
Can Pregnant Women Get a Divorce in Missouri

Missouri Divorce Pregnant

Under current Missouri law, while a pregnant woman can initiate the divorce process, finalizing the divorce is delayed until after the birth of the child. This delay is primarily related to matters of child custody and child support.

The court awaits the birth to address these critical issues comprehensively. Notably, in cases of domestic violence, this delay does not apply; however, exceptions are not made for pregnancy.

According to Shea Kohl Law Firm, this regulation often leaves pregnant individuals feeling trapped in difficult or abusive relationships, unable to legally sever ties until after childbirth. Representative Ashley Aune, a Democrat from Platte County, Missouri, expressed concern about the outdated nature of this law, stating, “It just doesn’t make sense in 2024.”

Missouri Pregnant Divorce Law

Rep. Aune has taken proactive steps to address this issue by introducing a bill aimed at reforming Missouri’s divorce laws regarding pregnant individuals. Her proposed legislation advocates for divorces or separations to proceed irrespective of pregnancy status.

Aune’s motivation stems from a desire to provide support and options for pregnant individuals facing challenging circumstances.

Aune emphasized the necessity of updating laws to align with modern realities, acknowledging that while the original intent may have been well-meaning, it fails to address the needs and rights of pregnant individuals in abusive or untenable situations. She cited community feedback, highlighting instances where pregnant individuals felt powerless due to legal constraints.

Can Pregnant Women Get a Divorce in Missouri

During committee hearings, poignant testimonies shed light on the urgency of legislative action. One woman shared her harrowing experience of being trapped in an abusive relationship while pregnant. Despite seeking legal counsel, she was informed that divorce was not an option until after childbirth.

This testimony underscored the detrimental impact of the existing law on individuals in vulnerable situations. Matthew Huffman of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the potential life-saving implications of legislative reform.

Huffman highlighted the prevalence of reproductive coercion, where abusive partners manipulate pregnancies to maintain control over their partners. He emphasized the critical need for change to protect individuals from abusive situations.

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