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Frozen Embryos at Crux of Dispute Between Actress and Ex-Fiancée

Embryologist freezing embryos for storage in laboratory representing a family that hired a Chicago family law attorney.
Although many complications can arise in almost any child custody case, in most instances the end result is cut and dry. In joint custody agreements, the children will usually primarily live with one parent while spending time with the other and both parents will have an equal say in the important decisions in their children’s lives. When full custody is granted to one parent (i.e., sole custody), then that parent will be the only parent who plays a role in the child’s legal decisions (e.g. health, education, religion, etc.), but the other parent will almost always be granted visitation rights. However, not all child custody cases are the same and in some cases, they can become extremely complicated. For example, what happens if a couple is actually fighting over the custody of frozen embryos? How will a court determine this kind of situation? There are a lot of questions to be resolved, such as who has the right to keep the embryos and what if one parent wants them destroyed and the other one wants them preserved. In addition, a judge might have to first determine whether or not the embryos are classified as children or as property. This kind of situation could obviously be very difficult to determine. Although very rare, this is exactly the kind of legal battle actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancée are going through. According to reports, the former couple is sparring over custody of their frozen embryos. While Ms. Vergara reportedly wants to have the embryos destroyed, her former fiancée, businessman Nick Loeb, wants to keep them. Mr. Loeb has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Vergara and asked a judge to prevent her from destroying the embryos. He reportedly wants to bring them to term, whether Ms. Vergara wants to or not. The actress has reportedly denied her former partner’s claim that she wants to destroy the embryos and her attorney claims that she wouldn’t make such a request because both parties signed an agreement in 2013 preventing either party to take such action. For his part, Mr. Loeb claims that he wants to be a father and therefore the embryos should not be destroyed. He claims that he filed the lawsuit because all other attempts to come to an agreement have failed. It is important to note, that this is not a “custody case.” Indeed, the case is going to be handled by a judge that deals with the matter like a contract dispute because that is really at the crux of the issue here. Both Ms. Vergara and Mr. Loeb signed a contract to determine each parties’ rights in this type of circumstance. This is obviously an unusual situation but it will be interesting to see how it turns out. In any case, if you are dealing with any kind of child custody issue in Chicago, then you should contact the Women’s Divorce & Family law Group. We can help you through these often-difficult situations. Just click here to contact us online, or give us a call at 312-585-6604. This should only be considered as general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Contacting an attorney is always a good idea to help you decide what is best for you in your particular case and circumstances.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Fax:312-283-8636
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Fax:312-283-8636
Lisle Office
Fax:312-283-8636
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532

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84th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606

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