Divorce And Frozen Embryos: Which Partner Has The Right To Deal With Them?
Frozen embryos are a combination of your DNA and your partner's DNA. As a couple, you were hoping to have children but were waiting for a better time. Now that you are divorcing, you have to decide what to do about your embryos. It is a complicated situation, and one for which you will need a divorce lawyer. Here is what you should expect to happen.
Recent Court Rulings on Divorce and Frozen Embryos
In most cases of this type, the judges ruled that the embryos were neither children nor property of either parent. However, the embryos could be utilized by the mother to create children, which the husband would then be required to pay child support for, even years after the divorce. Given that they could be a financial weapon an ex-wife could use against her ex-husband, limitations were put in place that would only allow the implantation and development of children if the mother was willing to sign statements that the ex-husband would not be forced to pay child support.
Previous Agreements Between You and Your Spouse
Perhaps the most agreeable method of dealing with the cryopreservation of embryos is to sign an agreement with your spouse at the time the embryos are frozen. If you both had typed up an agreement and had it witnessed by hospital staff, it is a legal and binding document which allows certain previously agreed upon rights. As long as your ex-husband is not in contention with implantation of the embryos in yourself or in another womb, then you may do as you please with them. In the event that you did not have any such agreement, your lawyer will have to do his or her best to argue for your plans for the embryos.
The Legal Argument of Medical Ethics and Right to Life
Your divorce case will come before a judge, and if your lawyer knows which judges will be in session and knows something about their pro-life proclivities, you will have a better chance to argue your case. The reverse is also true. Although judges are supposed to rule objectively, political issues often come into play, and scheduling your divorce hearing with a specific judge might play into your favor. Medical ethics and the right to life are both arguments that play a part in whether or not your judge will rule to keep the embryos viable and grant them to you or your ex.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Who Agrees with Your Ideals
If you plan on keeping your embryos and pursuing implantation, choosing a lawyer whose own ideals are in line with your own is a wise choice. The same holds true if you wish to dispose of the embryos and want nothing else to do with your ex, which is understandable. This is a very tricky area in divorce law, because it is rather new, but younger lawyers like those from Reneer & Associates are prepared to argue such cases.