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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Pregnant and Separated

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Texas
    Husband and I have been married 3 years. Separated in May '10 but have been "dating" and marraige counsling. I have not received any financial support form him since he left, he has his own place I have mine. We both have children from previous marraiges but none together. He is an alcoholic and in July '10 entered into an in-patient rehab treatment center. He has 6 months sobriety. I just found out I am pregnant...I have been using the same birth control for last 2 years, he knew what method I was using and what "risks" were there just as I did, no this was not a planned pregnancy. (I am happy about the baby, sad about the situation/circumstance) Upon telling him I was pregnant, he hung up on me, and did not contact me for 6 days. When he finally did, it was with a text telling me he was filing for "leagl separation" (I told him it doesn't exist in Texas). I do not want a divorce but will not contest...if he wants to leave, it's his choice. My question is about custody. I want Primary conservatorship, as I plan on breast feeding. When does visitation begin with a newborn? What can I expect? He has sole custody of his two children and his ex lost her parental rights. I have joint custody of my two with my ex. His children know nothing but negative of their mother (I have heard my husband and his family run her down...I never met her, neither have his kids but they say they hate her because of what they have been told). I don't want this to happen with our baby. But I know his family VERY well and they will run me down...they do now. Someone told me about a "TLC" clause that prevents this? Can I/should I do anything now? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Pregnant and Separated

    Well, a divorce likely isn't going to happen until the baby is born.

    Although breastfeeding is not a reason why Dad shouldn't be primary, the reality is that very few courts will take a newborn from its mother and hand him/her over to Dad unless the mother is unfit.

    Visitation for a newborn really boils down to one thing - how much you and Dad agree. Ideally the baby should bond with both parents very early on and if you're both comfortable with it, Dad can start overnights as soon as you're able to pump. If it ends up in court and goes by standard guidelines, overnights will not usually be ordered until at least 6 months (and often a year). It would likely be a few hours a day, a few times a week at YOUR home eventually leading up to longer periods outside of the home.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: Pregnant and Separated

    Thanks Dogmatique! Is there anything I should be doing (from a legal stand point)? My main focus is on healthy pregnancy and trying not to "sweat the small stuff". Hubby is VERY mad about this pregnancy. I did offer to give info on OB appointments but he has not responded as to how much if any involvement he will have. I am documenting everything (I learned that after my first husband/divorce...not pretty!). Also, per a verbal agreement, hubby said he'd continue paying the auto insurance (our only bill together...we have no credit cards, never bought a house/vehicles, etc.), can he stop? I know he can't take me off his health insurnace atleast not until baby is born. Also, when he stated he was "filing for leagl separation" he said in the next few months or so...there is no "legal separation" in Texas (his first divorce was in Maryland and I think he's thinking TX laws are like those), but is there any reason to wait a "few months" and can either of of file for divorce before the baby is born? (he will have lived in his county 90 days as of October 15, 2010)

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