On July 14, reports surfaced that the former co-host of a popular daytime talk show is embroiled in a complicated divorce and legal action involving a child born with the aid of the surrogate. The former member of “The View,” Sherri Shepherd, recently filed for divorce in New Jersey in response to a California filing for legal separation by her husband of three years.
Under California law the petition for legal separation filed by Shepherd’s husband, Lamar Sally, will be converted into a divorce once his requirement for residency is fulfilled. According to his court filings, Sally is seeking to legally separate from Shepherd and he wants full legal and physical custody of a surrogate child which is scheduled to be born July 28. Sally also once told the court to invalidate a prenuptial agreement between the couple which would grant full custody of the child to Shepherd after its birth.
Making matters even more complicated, the surrogate child at the core of this dispute contains no genetic material from Shepherd. The child was conceived by combining sperm from Sally with a donor egg. According to the New York Post, Shepherd has stated that she does not want the unborn child and wishes the court to rule that she bears no legal or financial responsibility for the child. It is believed that Shepherd filed her divorce petition in New Jersey because the state does not recognize the practice of surrogate parentage.
Ironically, Shepherd wants the court to uphold the prenup as it relates to the couple’s agreement regarding spousal support. Per the terms of that agreement, Shepherd was to pay Sally a one-time lump-sum of $60,000 in the event that the couple ever separated.
A divorce is an exceptionally difficult time for all parties involved. There are host of issues to resolve, but none of which are as important as what will happen with the children. Issues regarding custody of the children are paramount. Both spouses will need to agree on parenting time, visitation rights for the noncustodial parent, and child support.
These negotiations are made even more difficult when spouses are fighting. Strong emotions only lengthen the divorce process and can make the process more expensive. Divorcing spouses who share children together need to put aside their feelings as much is possible in order to hammer out a settlement which is in the best interest of their children.
Source: Examiner.com, “Sherri Shepherd – Lamar Sally divorce complicated by unborn surrogate child” Jul. 15, 2014