Navigating Divorce in Illinois While Pregnant: A Comprehensive Guide

 Posted on January 08, 2024 in Divorce

DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Divorce is a challenging life event, and when coupled with the anticipation of a new life through pregnancy, it can become an overwhelmingly stressful situation. The state of Illinois has specific laws and regulations surrounding divorce while pregnancy is involved, making it crucial for expectant parents to understand their rights and responsibilities during this delicate period. In this blog post, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide on navigating a divorce in Illinois while pregnant.

Understanding Illinois Divorce Laws

Before we delve into the specifics of divorce during pregnancy, let's first understand the basics of divorce laws in Illinois. Illinois follows the no-fault divorce principle, meaning that neither spouse needs to prove misconduct or wrongdoing to file for divorce and those actions are not relevant to the court for determining support or division of assets. The primary grounds for divorce in Illinois is irreconcilable differences also known as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.  That said, if there is domestic violence involved, it can impact issues surrounding children, including parenting time and allocation of parenting responsibilities.

Effects of Pregnancy on Divorce Proceedings

Pregnancy significantly impacts divorce proceedings, primarily due to the potential custody and support implications involving the unborn child. When a party is pregnant during a divorce, the court has to make a finding as to whether the unborn child is the natural child of the marriage (i.e. the husband is the father).  If not, there needs to be a finding of non-paternity made.

If the husband is the father, Illinois courts prioritize the best interests of the child and must determine child custody/allocation of parental responsibilities, visitation/parenting time rights, and child support. To do this, the court considers various factors including but not limited to the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of both parents, their willingness to cooperate in co-parenting, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse. Being pregnant could influence how these factors are evaluated, especially regarding the expected arrival of the child and its implications on parenting plans.

If you are pregnant during a divorce, the court will consider the expected arrival of the child when determining custody arrangements. It's essential to communicate openly with your attorney about your pregnancy status, including paternity issues, pregnancy related costs, and preferences and concerns regarding parenting rights once the child is born.

Financial Support and Medical Expenses

Child support is another significant consideration during a divorce involving pregnancy. The court will assess the financial responsibilities of each parent towards the child, including medical care, education, and basic living expenses. Child support is crucial in ensuring the child's needs are adequately met.  This CAN include medical expenses related to pregnancy and birth, so these should be tracked and documented for your attorney.

During divorce, the court may order child support based on the income and financial circumstances of both parents. It's important to ensure that this support is established to guarantee the child's welfare is safeguarded, regardless of the divorce situation.

Legal Assistance: Your Best Ally

During this emotionally trying time, consulting with an experienced family law attorney specializing in divorce cases involving pregnancy is highly advisable. An expert attorney can provide invaluable guidance, informing you of your rights and obligations, and helping you navigate the legal process seamlessly.

An attorney can assist in negotiations, mediation, or court proceedings, ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are protected, especially in relation to your child's best interests. Most importantly, if you are planning to begin divorce proceedings while you are pregnant or your spouse is pregnant you may be faced with a judge who chooses to stay your proceedings, meaning that the divorce will be halted until such time that the baby is born to ensure all issues related child support and parenting time/responsibilities is adequately resolved.


Divorce is a challenging life transition, and the addition of a pregnancy can amplify its complexity. However, armed with the right knowledge, understanding of the legal process, and professional support, you can navigate this difficult period with resilience and focus on building a stable and nurturing environment for your child post-divorce.

If you find yourself facing divorce while pregnant or while your spouse is pregnant in Illinois, don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted family law attorney at McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. We will be your advocate, providing the necessary legal expertise and ensuring the best possible outcome for both you and your child. Remember, you're not alone, and with the right support, you can successfully navigate this challenging phase of life.  Please call 630-407-1200 for a free initial consultation or contact us via our website at

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