There are both legal and emotional considerations to divorcing while pregnant.  I’m a psychologist, not a lawyer, so I don’t give legal advice, but I will say that some states do not allow for divorce during pregnancy.

There is no “right” or “easy” time to get divorced. There are always complicating factors and life events, so it is understandable that people go through divorces while pregnant just as they do with young children or as empty nesters. Here are some things to consider:

  • The emotional roller coaster: Pregnancy is usually thought of as an exciting time in a couple’s life. It is a time filled with hoping and dreaming about the baby’s future.  Even when it is your choice, divorce is filled with sadness and pain. Add in the pregnancy hormones and this can be a recipe for an emotional roller coaster ride.
  • Line up additional support: All people going through a divorce need extra support, especially emotional, and this is doubly true for a pregnant woman. You may also need physical support, depending on your pregnancy. There may be things as the pregnancy progresses that you would have delegated to your spouse and you should reach out to friends and family to get all the support you need in those areas.
  • Maternal stress can affect your baby: It is important to remember that divorce is stressful, but so is an unhealthy or unhappy marriage. While all women experience stress during their pregnancies, chronic stress can impact the pregnancy negatively. So, back to my last point, it is doubly important to get the support you need to manage your stress. Also, engaging in self-care will promote a healthy pregnancy. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise and maintain social connections.
  • Choose a divorce process carefully: You and your spouse are going to want to create a parenting plan that meets your unique needs. I encourage you to consider Collaborative Divorce or mediation so you can have control over the decisions being made about your family. Develop a parenting plan that will grow with your family over time and has some flexibility.

Again, there is no easy time to get divorced. Give yourself the support you need to have a healthy pregnancy – it’s a gift to you and your baby.