DIVORCE CASE OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER): Is She Pregnant???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

On a recent beautiful morning in the Palm Beach County Courthouse, I stood with my client, the Husband, who had petitioned the court for a dissolution of marriage.  He and his wife had no children, and they had agreed to all the terms of dividing the marital assets and debts.  Also, the Wife was to pay the Husband alimony for a short time frame.  Financial affidavits of the parties were already in the court file.  I presented the signed marital settlement agreement along with a final judgment of divorce to the judge.

The judge then asked my client where his wife was.  The answer, New York.   The judge then asked how she could determine if the wife was or was not pregnant.  His testimony would not be sufficient.  So we had to get the wife on the phone right there in the courtroom.  The judge swore her in as she did my client and then asked the wife if she were pregnant.  The wife testified “no” and so the divorce was granted after some additional testimony by both parties regarding the agreement and the divorce.

Why all the fuss about the wife’s condition?  Because it is the job of the court to protect children with child support.  The court needs to know if a little one is on the way.  Had we not been able to reach the wife by telephone, having the wife “appear” at the final hearing, I am certain the divorce would not have been granted until a later date and with the wife’s testimony in person.

However, in further discussion with this judge, a pleading, a statement in the marital settlement agreement or an affidavit from the wife may have been sufficient to ascertain the pregnancy status of the wife to satisfy the court.

For more information about divorce, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

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