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Dealing with frozen embryos when filing for divorce

Maryland families who decide to go through the IVF process in order to conceive biological children may not think about what may happen to the embryos they create should they go through a divorce. If a couple does split after the embryos are created, they will have to decide whether they want to have them implanted, donated or ultimately destroyed.

When a couple begins IVF, the embryos that are creating using their genetic material will be stored in a special facility. The facility will often require the couple to sign a consent agreement that glances over what will be done with the embryos in the event the couple splits or dies. However, few couples give little thought to potential outcomes, especially when they are more interested in starting a family.

Embryos created through IVF are considered to be joint property. When the couple gets a divorce, they will have to come to a decision over the embryos as the final decision affects both individuals. Because disputes that involve frozen embryos can take years to resolve, the former couple should ensure that they remain current with their storage fees to prevent the embryos from being destroyed before a final decision has been made.

If a couple that is getting divorced decides to go through with a pregnancy using embryos created through IVF, they must resolve any potential child custody dispute that they may have. A family law attorney may assist with drafting a parenting plan that provides a parent with the ability to maintain a strong relationship with the resulting child. The parenting plan may include where the child will primarily live and pertinent health information.

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