Issues related to preservation of fertility raised in divorces

Gone are the days when a woman married in her early twenties, stayed home to raise children and relied financially solely upon her husband. Today, many New York women choose to pursue higher degrees and go on to have successful careers. While there are certainly many benefits to making such decisions, there may also be some personal drawbacks.

Today, a growing number of women are delaying marriage or having children until they are well into their 30s. For these women, the decision of whether or not to have a child is not one that can be indefinitely put off.

What happens, however, if a woman doesn't marry until age 36 and then divorces a few years later. Now 39, her opportunity to become a mother is quickly fading away. Given the fact that a woman has a limited time in which she is able to reproduce, questions have recently been raised in some divorces as to whether an ex-husband should be required to pay costs associated with the preservation of an ex-wife's fertility. When a woman in her late 30s or early 40s divorces, she can choose to freeze her eggs for use at a later time.

The costs associated with freezing eggs, however, often costs thousands of dollars. For example one 38-year-old woman recently requested that her soon-to-be ex-husband pay $20,000 towards the harvesting, freezing and storage of her eggs.

As many men and women continue to delay marriage and having children, matters related to fertility and the costs associated thereto will likely continue to be an issue in many divorce proceedings.

Source: The New York Times, "Alimony for Your Eggs," Elizabeth Richards, Sep. 6, 2013

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