It seems that the laws on child custody and support are complicated enough when it comes to a Georgia divorce. With reproductive science advancing every day, it brings even more questions and concerns. The laws concerning the divorce process as it relates to the welfare of children from the marriage will need to be examined and, in many cases, changed.

Up until now, embryos were legally considered property and not living human beings. A situation fitting this legal viewpoint is being looked at in a divorce case from another state. While filing for divorce, the wife is asking for her husband to pay to have her eggs frozen, as she had wanted children during the marriage but none were conceived. She was getting older and her opportunity to have children was waning. She did not want her husband's sperm, as previous in vitro fertility treatments had not worked, so he would not be responsible for child support if they were divorced before she bore any children.

When the eggs already exist, the situation is more complicated. In another case, the divorced couple had signed a statement several years ago during the marriage that gave the woman custody over fertilized eggs if there ever was a divorce. After the divorce, the husband wanted the eggs destroyed because he felt the earlier arrangement denied him the right to decide for himself if he wanted to father anymore children. In addition, he also argued the fact that he had been given sole custody of the couple's daughter when the court had found the mother to be unfit. The woman was awarded custody over the frozen embryos.

The complexity of the issues and all the questions that need to be answered will take time and careful consideration from those who make the laws. For a Georgia couple who is going through the divorce process and dealing with the embryo questions, it is vital to learn as much about these issues as possible. The focus for all involved needs to be on any future children that may result from these embryos, whether legally viewed as property or as living beings.

Source: Washington Times Communities, Are unborn children people or property in a divorce, and who decides?, Myra Fleischer, Sept. 19, 2013