Most paternity battles usually either involve a mother trying to prove that a certain man is the father of her child or children, or a father who is trying to gain visitation rights by proving that he is the biological father of a child or children. Once paternity has been established then the parents, with the help of the court, if necessary, can determine the child custody arrangement and child support payment plan.
However, what happens when the couple is fighting over who the mother is? While this seems like an obvious answer, in cases that involve in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the services of a surrogate mother, there can be a lot of variations.
An ongoing custody and maternity battle between former TV host, Sherri Shepherd and her estranged husband, Lamar Sally, continues to play out in court as well as in the media spotlight. According to recent reports, a judge has ruled against Ms. Shepherd’s efforts to free herself from parental responsibility of the child that her and her husband had via surrogate last year. Reportedly, the TV personality, and former co-host of The View, had asked the court to release her from any maternal responsibility to the boy because he was conceived without her egg.
Ms. Shepherd claims that her estranged husband only wanted to have the child so he could get child support from her after they were divorced. Because she is not the boy’s biological mother she had hoped to absolve herself of any parenting responsibility, including paying child support to her soon-to-be ex-husband. However, a judge has ruled that Ms. Shepherd is the boy’s mother. Accordingly, reports state that Ms. Shepherd will have to appear in court when the judge determines the child support arrangement.
This is a unique situation and the judge has made an interesting ruling. Of course, each maternity and child custody case has it’s own unique set of circumstances and they will all be handled accordingly. Most IVF contracts have very specific and clear rules governing each parties rights, and it is absolutely critical that the IVF contract is properly written so one doesn’t end up with responsibility for a child they don’t want or lose responsibility for a child they do want. In any case, at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we have experience with all kinds of divorce child custody cases. We look at your specific situation and consider all the important details. We then map out an effective strategy to help you achieve the best results possible. At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago we are there every step of the way until the process is completed. Please contact us today by clicking here, or by calling 312-445-8830.
This should only be considered as general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Contacting an attorney is always a good idea in these kinds of cases. An Attorney can 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.