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Determining who gets frozen embryos

When a Texas couple gets divorced, the issue of property division can be complex. This may be even more true when it comes to determining who gets possession of frozen embryos. In a California case, a couple froze five embryos before they got divorced and were split as to what to do with them. The husband wanted them destroyed while the wife wanted to keep them as her age and previous bout with cancer left her practically infertile.

Although the couple signed clinical paperwork saying that the embryos would be destroyed if the couple were divorced, a divorce court may make its own ruling based on other relevant facts. An attorney for the woman claims that no court has ruled against a woman with no other option to create a biological child. He also argues that the paperwork signed at the clinic was not a binding agreement.

However, most courts tend to side with the person who does not want to procreate. In New Jersey, a judge ordered embryos to be destroyed because state law could not compel a man to become a parent against his will. Another issue is whether or not the embryo should be treated like a child or as another piece of property. Some believe that the answer to that question is to create technology that allows to freeze eggs or sperm without having to mix them together.

The division of assets is one of many legal issues that will arise when a couple's marriage is ending. This is where an attorney may be of assistance to a divorcing spouse. Legal counsel may be able to assist in negotiating a comprehensive agreement that will encompass all relevant matters.

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