Surrogacy in New Jersey

The View co-host Sherri Shepherd is reportedly getting a divorce from her husband of 3 years, Lamar Sally. Shepherd lives in New Jersey and has filed divorce papers here. Her husband Lamar Sally has reportedly filed for divorce in California.

This is not your typical divorce. Media reports say that Shepherd and her husband are expecting a baby via surrogate this summer. Sally reportedly has asked for sole custody of the unborn child in his California filings, while Shepherd’s divorce papers make no mention of the child at all. This may seem odd, however New Jersey does not have a law that specifically addresses surrogacy. A proposed law called The New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act was vetoed by Governor Christie in 2012, leaving this area of law in flux.

New Jersey courts do recognize and enforce the parentage aspects of gestational surrogacy (in which the surrogate is unrelated to the child, i.e. is not the biological mother) agreements. When a child is conceived through gestational surrogacy in New Jersey, the intended parents must adopt the child to become legal parents. Therefore, Sally and Shepherd are technically not the legal parents of the child being carried by the surrogate until this legal process is completed. A New Jersey court cannot decide custody until Shepherd and Sally are established as the legal parents of the child. Shepherd’s attorneys will likely file for custody as soon as the child is born.

DeTorres & DeGeorge represents men and women in divorce and family law cases in in Tewksbury, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Our skilled attorneys are waiting to handle your case. Schedule a consultation by calling us at 908-284-6005.

Children & Divorce Guide
About DeTorres and DeGeorge Family Law

DeTorres and DeGeorge Family Law is a New Jersey based family law firm that has been helping New Jersey residents achieve the best possible results in their divorce for nearly 30 years. The DeTorres and DeGeorge Family Law team is always ready to fight for their clients’ rights – determined to help New Jersey families overcome legal challenges from start to finish. Our legal team, with over 65 years of combined experience, provides expert guidance on all family law and divorce-related matters, including custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, equitable distribution of assets, premarital agreements, post-divorce issues, executive compensation distribution, divorces for business owners, and divorce mediation. The firm has been recognized for its dedication and expertise in the industry by multiple local and national organizations, including Super Lawyers, Law Firm 500, and the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. Rosanne DeTorres, Managing Partner, is one of 150 lawyers certified as a matrimonial law attorney.

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