When a couple chooses to end their marriage, the day that they finalize their divorce is the day that they are no longer married under the eyes of the law. There is no gray area, no in between where the law is concerned. However, this doesn’t mean that the emotions automatically disappear too.
Emotions that brought an engagement, a marriage and a life together for at least a period of time don’t always disappear overnight. There are even some cases in which a couple might reunite — if even only for one night. What happens when a child is conceived as a result of a reunion?
The Huffington Post recently published the story of one woman who slept with her ex at her sister’s wedding four years after their divorce had been finalized. A combination of factors swept them into the familiar arms of their ex for just that one night. A few weeks later, the woman found out she was pregnant. She was left with the question “Was the father the ex-husband or her boyfriend?”
The woman determined who the father was by a simple process of elimination. First, she utilized a pregnancy calculator with her doctors to help determine that the conception likely occurred on the day of her sister’s wedding. It wasn’t an exact science, but then, she was able to rule out her boyfriend as the father by way of a paternity test that he agreed to take. At this point she absolutely knew that her ex-husband was the father.
“I’m not going to leave you hanging on this,” her ex-husband said when she told him he was the father. She listened to his words, but she never heard the words “I want this.”
This type of verbal promise may not be very comforting, and it isn’t always upheld. The fact that the pair once was married doesn’t give rise to a legal right to enforce an obligation to pay child support nor will the courts accept a claim of paternity based solely on the process of elimination.
A woman that finds herself in this type of situation may want to discuss establishing legal paternity with a New Jersey family law attorney. By establishing paternity through blood testing or a birth certificate, the mother can ask the court to establish a child support order to provide legal assurance that the child will be taken care of.
Source: The Huffington Post, “What Happens When You Get Pregnant With Your Ex-Husband,” March 25, 2014