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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Who gets custody of the frozen embryos?

Although many divorces touch the same issues of child custody and support, alimony and property division, no two divorce cases are the same. With each family comes a unique and special compilation of beliefs, values and circumstances. A recent case coming out of Maryland might interest readers in and around McKinney for its quite unique circumstances. According to reports, the uniqueness of the case may eventually take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case involves a couple who used in vitro fertilization to conceive a child after finding out the wife could not conceive naturally due to an ovarian cyst. Through the process, the two were able to conceive a girl, now 3 years old.

The issue came up when the two decided to divorce. A judge awarded custody of the daughter to the father, but gave custody of the nine leftover frozen embryos to the mother. The woman reportedly plans to use the embryos to get pregnant in the future. The ex-husband's lawyer says if she is allowed to do so, it would basically be forcing the man to become a parent against his will.

A circuit court has issues a stay in the matter until Feb. 9, giving the ex-husband time to file an appeal.

This case has become an issue of legal versus moral perspectives and some believe the case could eventually reach the United States' highest court. Any upcoming rulings in the matter could set a precedent for future family law cases across the country.

Source: NBC Washington, "Judge Grants Stay in Divorced Couple's Battle Over Embryos," Tracee Wilkins, Jan. 14, 2013

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