Medical technology becomes complex issue in some divorces

In a divorce, two of the most challenging areas for soon-to-be ex-spouses to agree on are property division and child custody and support. These topics can often drag a final divorce agreement out for a long time. Some Florida couples also often find that what they thought would be relatively straightforward is anything but. Complications can arise from situations not always top of mind.

That is the case more and more today as changes allowed by technology and medical advances in our society show up in divorce situations. One recent article discusses specifically the issues at hand when couples who have frozen embryos get divorced. The question appears not quite fully answered as different cases showcase. Some divorces have proceeded by considering the embryos as simply marital assets to be divided. While this can be agreed upon, it is not always that simple.

One couple signed an agreement with the fertility clinic when their embryos were initially fertilized and frozen that gave ownership of the embryos to the wife in the event of a divorce. Now that a divorce is underway, the husband wants the embryos destroyed to protect his right to choose whether or not he wishes to have more children. In another case, the woman chose to give up her right to any child support from her ex-husband yet, after receiving public assistance funds, the state of Kansas is seeking recourse from the father for the money it paid to her.

Situations such as these can add tremendous complexities to an already challenging process. Anyone going through a divorce, no matter the circumstances, may wish to consult with an attorney to protect themselves and understand the various nuances that may be involved.

Source: The Washington Times, “Are unborn children people or property in a divorce, and who decides?,” Myra Fleischer, September 19, 2013

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