Can I begin the divorce process while I am pregnant and legally choose what my baby’s last name will be without his consent? 31 Answers as of May 29, 2013

I am 22 weeks pregnant. My husband and I have been married less than four months and I want a divorce. He abuses me and is unfaithful. I am worried for my child’s safety and me.

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Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
You should start the process now. He may still want the baby to have his last name.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/3/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
You can file for divorce anytime but won't likely obtain your actual divorce until after the child is born. As for the last name, that's between you two.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/31/2012
ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP
ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP | GEORGE N. SEIDE
You can use your last name, but if he wants he can go to court to try to get his name on the birth certificate, sometimes with a hyphen (-) between your and his name.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2012
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Yes you can legally divorce him anytime..AS to the baby's name.. let the court decide who has legal custody .. then you can make the decision.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/29/2012
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
Yes, you can file for divorce while pregnant. Is the baby his? As for last name, you can choose whatever name you want. I can discuss with you ideas on how to get him out, if you would like to talk on the telephone.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You can begin the divorce process. The question of who can decide what to name the child will be answered by the Court if you and your husband can't agree. The child's last name will have nothing to do with the decisions about what kind of allocation of parenting time may be granted to father.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
    You will need to proceed with filing for dissolution and address custody and parenting time issues as part of that. As for the baby's name, if he does not challenge paternity and requests that his name be included, the court would likely order that the baby's last name be hyphenated. So at the hospital you can name the child as you wish, but just understand that if he pushes the issue later on, the baby's name could be ordered to be changed and hyphenated.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Lombardi Law LLC
    Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
    You can start the divorce process but be aware that in Alaska if you are pregnant during the marriage then your husband is legally the father of the child. If he is abusive you may want to look into a Domestic Violence Protective order. In that process you can ask that he leave the home and have no contact with you. An attorney can help you with the paperwork so that your rights are protected and you are protected as well.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Yes, you can separate and obtain a divorce at any time, including when you are pregnant. If you want to move to another state or even out of the area, do it now, while you are pregnant. Once the baby comes, it will be more difficult both legally and physically.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    I think what you are asking is the name change question. Here in RI I do not think that would be a viable outcome, removing his name would not be an option.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    File for divorce immediately. Then remind him that if he is on the birth certificate he pays child support. That may be enough incentive for him to avoid putting his name on the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    You must meet with an experienced divorce attorney. If he is the father then you should not NOT list him on the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    You can begin the divorcee process while you are pregnant. You do not have the right to choose your baby's last name at the exclusion of your spouse. If you are concerned about your personal safety then you can petition the court in the divorce action to address that matter or you may file a petition for a restraining order. Since your child has not been born it is a difficult legal argument to say that he is a direct threat to the child. But you can always petition the court.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    Yes. You can file for divorce at any time. If he is physically abusing you, you should take precautionary measures at your earliest convenience. Generally, courts will allow a male child to have the last name of the father. It is the custom here in America. That is not necessarily the same with a female child. Additionally, courts will ot make child custody, visitation, and support orderes until the child is born.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    See an attorney now, you may file for divorce when pregnant.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Yes you file for divorce, but it will not be granted until after the birth of the child, and no the fater's name must be on the birth certificate and he has parental rights and obligations to the child.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    You can begin the divorce process whenever you please, but you can't get a divorce until after the child is born. If it's your husband's child, you probably won't be able to determine the child's surname without his involvement.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You can file for divorce anytime (even during pregnancy), but I don't think it is likely that you can prevent him from having his name as part of the child's last name.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    You may begin the divorce process at any time after you are married. Your child's name will reflect what you put on your birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of James Bordonaro
    Law Office of James Bordonaro | James Albert Bordonaro
    Yes, you can begin the divorce now and you probably have the right to name the child but I court could change the name depending on the laws in your state if your husband files an objection.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    You can start your divorce at anytime. He can ask the court to I include his name. An action leaving him out when it comes to the child could have an impact on custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Pregnancy will have no effect on divorce proceedings. Ask for return to your maiden name in your pleading. Your are going to need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/29/2012
    Posternak Blankstein & Lund, LLP | Michael Eliot Rubin
    The answer isn't just a yes or no.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    Yes, you can begin the divorce process while pregnant. Regarding the baby's last name, if your husband takes an active interest in the child and is present for the birth, the child's last name should probably be the same as your married last name. It can be changed later, if circumstances warrant. If your husband is not present for the birth, you choose the last name yourself, however, that choice can be challenged in Court should your husband take the initiative. Have you considered Mediation for a quick and inexpensive way to get divorced? Mediation is Fast, Effective and Affordable. Check it out. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You can file a divorce case now, but it cannot be finalized until after the child is born.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    You can begin the proceed. Final Judgment of Divorce will wait pending the child's birth. Mississippi will put the father on the birth certificate and the child will have the father's surname.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    You can begin the process now, but you cannot finalize the divorce until after the baby is born and paternity is established either through testing or the presumption that the husband is the father. The child's last name will ultimately be determined in the divorce case. You need to talk to a lawyer about getting a protective order to protect you from the violence you are experiencing. If you cannot afford a lawyer, generally the district or county attorney's offices can help.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A.
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
    You can file for divorce now and if he physically abuses you, you can get a domestic violence injunction for protection. The name is a more complicated issue. You should consult with a local Family attorney about that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/28/2012
    Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/29/2013
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