As an Arizona State Bar Certified Specialist in family law matters in Arizona, an issue that arises from time to time is the contest over the frozen embryos that have been stored for various reasons.
Just recently, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed Senate Bill 1393, which law allows a parent to use embryos created during a marriage even if their divorced spouse does not want a child. The law will supersede contractual agreements between the parties even if such agreements were properly signed.
The new law allows either spouse wanting a child to use previously frozen embryos, even without consent or over the objection of the other spouse (or partner).
This law may have various unintended consequences. The law contains a provision that the spouse (or partner) who is not awarded the frozen embryos will not be required to pay any child support. Nonetheless, questions remain as to who would be the child’s legal father (or mother) if only one partner chooses to proceed forward with the frozen embryos. Generally Arizona law favors children having two legal parents, both required to provide financial support for the child. This new law is an exception. Other questions remain such as the other spouse (or partner’s) rights to parenting time with the child or to have any relationship with such child.
If you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, or annulment case or other family law case, whether or not it involves frozen embryos, and if you have determined that you need experienced legal representation, please call 480 733-6800 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at www.yourarizonadivorcelawyer.com.