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Legal dispute over frozen embryos highlights unique divorce case

A California case involving frozen embryos has sparked a debate on child custody issues long after a divorce. According to news sources, a San Francisco, California, judge is prepared to issue a verdict in a follow-on divorce dispute that emerged after the couple's divorce was finalized in April.

At issue, are five frozen embryos that the ex-spouses decided to have frozen after doctors discovered breast cancer in the wife just days before the couple married. At that time in 2010, the couple decided that freezing the embryos might preserve the wife's only chance of naturally conceiving a child. The mother of those embryos now says that she was unaware that the document was legally binding. According to the mother, both her and her then husband considered the documents as merely routine consent forms.

The 46-year-old wife has made it clear that she does not want her ex-husband's assistance in raising or caring for their potential children. However, she argues that her age and the medication she is required to take prevents her from naturally conceiving any other children. The attorneys for the potential father argue that the ex-wife should have known about the enforceability of the contract, citing the clear language of the agreement. The ruling in this matter is expected sometime within the next six months.

California parents seeking divorce need to know that unique situations may require the assistance of lawyers. An attorney with experience in California's family law courts can assist you in situations that may require a unique approach to resolving a marital dispute. This is true whether you are seeking a modification to a previous divorce decree or defending against unfounded claims. Taking action now to have an attorney review important legal documents during or after your marriage can be a crucial step to avoiding potentially costly and time-consuming litigation in the future.

Source: ABC News, "California Woman at Center of Frozen Embryos Legal Battle Speaks Out," Amy Robach, et. al, Aug. 06, 2015

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