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Post-divorce preservation of fertility a concern for some

When a marriage in Louisiana ends in a divorce, sometimes the couple has not had any children, or they may not have had as many children as one or both of the spouses wanted. In a small but increasing number of cases, women who believe that their fertility and chances of bearing children at a later time may have been limited by the passage of time are now exploring various options to have children later despite advancing age.

Some divorcing wives may already had a number of their eggs frozen for later use, believing that they might have them fertilized through in vitro fertilization during the marriage. With divorce now impending, their thoughts may include the possibility of having those eggs fertilized later with the sperm of a donor or a subsequent boyfriend or new husband. Accordingly, the issue of paying for the continued cost of the storage and preservation of the eggs may be an issue in the divorce's settlement negotiations. In some instances, in which a woman's eggs have not previously been extracted or frozen, the cost of those initial procedures may also be at issue.

In one instance, a woman who is approaching her 40's and in the midst of a divorce proceeding is asking the court to mandate that her estranged spouse bear the cost of extracting and freezing her eggs, medication necessitated for the procedure and ongoing storage and maintenance costs. The total cost could reach as high as $20,000 by some estimates, but would preserve the option of her later becoming a biological parent, something that the passage of time during the now defunct marriage may soon make otherwise impossible.

She had already attempted to have a child with her husband through in vitro fertilization, and contends that her expectancy of being able to later have children is something she is entitled to try to preserve. She believes she should be able to use a portion of the marital assets to do so. There has not yet been a court ruling on the issue and it is not clear what the resolution will be.

Years ago, such issues were unheard of, but with today's new scientific methods and changing attitudes towards reproduction, these questions will confront more divorcing couples. Skilled and experienced family law attorneys are ready to face the challenge of helping clients resolve such cutting edge legal questions.

Source: New York Times, "Alimony for Your Eggs" Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Sep. 06, 2013

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