Arizona is a no-fault state when it comes to family law and divorce. When
children are involved, the court takes a good, strong look at what is
best for the kids and then makes a determination on custody and support
based on the evidence.
family law, there are cases in the system that garner attention because they are
so unusual, and this is one of them.
A famous Hollywood talk show host, Sherri Shepherd, is asking a judge to
set aside a contract she and her soon-to-be ex-husband signed in order
to establish a relationship with a surrogate mother. She and her husband
had decided that they wanted another child before they filed divorce papers in May.
She alleges that her husband knew he didn't want to live with her or
stay married to her before the decision to hire a surrogate was made and
that he intended to ask for full custody and child support after the baby was born.
It may seem cold to be so analytical about a human life, but Ms. Shepherd
is making her case in court.
She states that her eggs were not used in the in-vitro fertilization but
that her husband's sperm was. Therefore, the baby is not related to
her in any way. She is petitioning to ensure that she doesn't have
to pay child support.
They have both filed for divorce is different states, which complicates
the situation even further. He filed in California, and she filed in New
Jersey. New Jersey doesn't recognize agreements with surrogates, while
California leans more to protecting the contract that was signed with
the birth mother.
Usually the way it usually works is whoever filed the divorce papers first
will get the first hearing in the state they filed in.
One expert said that the parents may end up providing support for this
child even if she ends up in a foster home. Since Ms. Shepherd is the
major breadwinner, she may have to pay the lion's share.
If you have a family law matter, whether it is child support, custody or
divorce, you may the advice of an experienced family law attorney before
moving forward with any decisions.
Source: Fox News, "Can Sherri Shepherd walk away from unborn surrogate child?" Hollie McKay, Jul. 22, 2014