Who gets frozen embryos after a divorce? | Lane & Lane, LLC
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Who gets frozen embryos after a divorce?

Couples face a multitude of challenges and issues when going through a divorce. There is a modern divorce issue that New Jersey couples may be interested in knowing more about. With the new technologies that are available to couples who may choose to freeze embryos comes new potential disputes if and when a couple decides to divorce.

A couple in another state chose to freeze five embryos after they were married. The woman had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple wanted to ensure they would be able to have children after she went through treatment that could potentially leave her infertile. They signed a contract, as many couples going through this process do, agreeing that the embryos would be destroyed in the event that the couple divorced.

The couple has since divorced, but the woman wants to use the embryos. The ex-husband does not want the embryos used. In other cases like this, courts have more often sided with the party who is refraining from procreation. However, no court has ruled against an individual who is infertile and has no other option for having a biological child.

Perhaps the hardest question in a battle for frozen embryos is whether the embryo is property to be equitably divided in a divorce or a living being which would require consideration under custody action. Couples that have signed a contract may find that it is not considered legally binding or that a modification is possible. An experienced New Jersey family law attorney may be able to help either parent fight for his or her rights in a dispute for embryos following a divorce.

Source: tpr.org, "After A Divorce, What Happens To A Couple's Frozen Embryos?", Jennifer Ludden, Aug. 22, 2015

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