Who gets frozen embryos after a divorce?

Posted by David Jacks | Nov 23, 2015

On behalf of The Jacks Law Group posted in child custody on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

A divorce in Las Vegas often leads to a lot of questions about who gets what assets and possessions. However, most people don't take the time to think about more than just the home, cars, bank accounts and the like. However, if you have any frozen embryos, you really need to consider who will get control of them if you split up.

This question has been in the spotlight lately because a couple has been battling for control of their embryos in court. The woman had cancer while the two were still together, so she had the embryos frozen in case she was never able to have children naturally.

When the couple agreed to do this, they signed paperwork that stated that if they split up, destruction of the embryos would commence. Part of the reasoning here is that if one parent had control of the embryos after a divorce and decided to use one to have a child, the other person would then be a biological parent, even if they had no desire to be.

The woman wants to keep the embryos because of her age. She is 46, so she doesn't think she'd be able to have children any other way if she married again.

This case in in California, but it has become a drawn-out affair because similar cases as far away as Massachusetts have given rulings that are all over the board. Therefore, even though the California couple signed the agreement, the case went to court to get the final say. This means that whatever ruling the court makes could have a national impact.

Cases like this are very important to watch because of the precedents that they can set for couples in Nevada and elsewhere. If you are considering such a step, it's essential to consult with a Nevada family law attorney.

Source: Nevada Public Radio, “After A Divorce, What Happens To A Couple's Frozen Embryos?,” Jennifer Ludden, accessed Sep. 17, 2015

About the Author

David Jacks

David Jacks is a seasoned attorney and founder of The Jacks Law Group, PLLC, in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. Born and raised in Las Vegas, he served as an Animal Care Specialist in the U.S. Army before transitioning to a career in law. He earned his BA in Political Science from UNLV and his JD from Arizona Summit Law School. David’s practice focuses on family law and personal injury cases, including divorce, child custody, and car accidents. He is recognized for his professional excellence and has received numerous awards. David is actively involved in the legal community and various professional associations.

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