You and your spouse always wanted to have children. That’s why you froze several of your embryos. You weren’t ready to have kids in the past, but you wanted to have the option as you got older.
All of that planning seemed to go to waste when your spouse approached you with a divorce. As you began planning for the divorce, you realized that you still had frozen embryos to be concerned over. You don’t want your spouse to use them in the future because you want to raise children with someone you’re in a committed relationship with.
What happens now?
This is a complex situation. There are few protections for those who want to preserve or destroy the remaining embryos. Technically, frozen embryos are considered to be the personal property of the two biological parents. That means that they could technically be divided or given to one parent during a divorce.
However, the courts generally believe that you cannot force someone to become a parent. It would likely be unfair to award the embryos to one potential parent and then, against the other parent’s wishes, allow for implantation. There are exceptions, but this is something that needs to be examined closely in your case.
Disputes that involve frozen embryos can take years to resolve. Cryogenic facilities will keep the embryos preserved as long as their fees are paid, but if there is any lapse, the embryos could be destroyed. This information is something you should keep in mind as you discuss what you want to do with your frozen embryos with your attorney. It’s a hard situation, but it’s one that you will need to address.