If you are pregnant and considering a divorce, or are pregnant and no longer together with your child’s father, you may wonder if you can take any steps about custody during your pregnancy.
An unborn child is not a legal person under the law in New Jersey. Custody cannot be filed for or determined until the child is born. The short answer is you can’t actually file for custody during your pregnancy, but despite this there are some things you can do to lay the groundwork.
- Try to talk to the father. The best case scenario for your child is two parents who are able to co-parent together cooperatively. You don’t have to be in love, but you do need to be able to communicate with each other. Obviously you have differences if you are no longer together, but if you can find a way to start cooperating with each other now, it will make the rest of your lives so much easier.
- Keep records. Has the father ever come to a prenatal appointment? Has he bought anything for the baby? Has he been willing to discuss names with you? Fathers who are involved in pregnancies tend to be involved with their babies. Start keeping track of his involvement now so that you can show an ongoing track record to the court if there is a conflict later.
- Create a budget. Your household expenses are going to change once your baby arrives and if you are seeking alimony or child support, you will need to provide a budget to the court as part of your case. Research how much it is really going to cost you to raise your baby.
When you need a law firm that listens and stands up for you, turn to DeTorres & DeGeorge. Make an appointment today.