Can a divorce affect a surrogate agreement?

Taking a look at a celebrity's legal issues can sometimes show you the complexity of the law and the necessity of a lawyer for some cases.

Whether you try to avoid it or not, the truth of the matter is that celebrity gossip is everywhere. And while a majority of it may seem trivial, there are some stories that capture our attention because of the legal issues they raise. And if the issue is relatable to your own situation, you may even glean some knowledge that can be used later.

Take for example the case of Sherri Shepherd, a former host on "The View." Her recent filing for divorce from her current husband, Lamar Sally, has grabbed national attention because it showcases the potential legal complications that can arise if a couple has entered into a surrogacy agreement and is planning on separating before the child is born.

So what is a surrogacy agreement?

Surrogacy agreements are complex documents that are often legally binding depending on the state in which you live. They usually establish the carrying of a pregnancy between one party and a surrogate mother and contain specific terms and conditions that must be met during the pregnancy. They will also establish parentage after the child is born and who will have parental rights over the child.

These agreements can be anything from simple contracts to extensive lists that can control everything from the surrogate mother's diet to how many medical check-ups she must receive during the pregnancy.

Because of the complexity of these documents and the legal issues they can create if they are not drafted properly, couples are typically told to get help from a lawyer who knows the applicable laws in the state.

How can a divorce impact these agreements?

Although society is starting to recognize surrogacy as a viable way of starting a family, not every state has clearly established laws to govern the process. While one state might recognize a surrogacy agreement, another state may not. This can complicate legal situations considerably, especially if couples file for divorce separately in different states.

Though, relatively speaking, nothing can stop you from entering into a surrogacy agreement with a surrogate mother, it's important to point out that Colorado currently does not have any provisions regarding surrogacy. This could create complicated legal issues that could have the courts divided on everything from parental rights to child custody.

Because experienced lawyers are well versed in the area of family law, they are usually considered to be the best resources when dealing with complex legal issues such as the one above. Not only can they inform you about the law and explain your rights, they can also tell you how the laws will apply to your specific situation as well.

Keywords: family law issues, litigation, surrogacy, child custody