The Zika Virus and Divorce Issues

Posted by William H. Sherman on Feb 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

Question:   My pregnant wife didn't listen to me and went to Brazil. Now I'm worried that she's got the Zika virus.

Our marriage hasn't been good and I've been thinking about divorce for a few years. I need to make a change because my wife isn't dealing with her mental issues and I think she might be a lesbian because she's completely lost interest in me.

She's pregnant and wanted to visit her family in Brazil. I told her not to be stupid and just wait for the baby to be born and then go to visit. But she went anyway and stayed there for nearly one month. So it wasn't just a short trip. And I know she was outside a lot because she sent pictures and posted a lot on Facebook. In a lot of the pictured she was wearing a bikini or shots and a t-shirt, so she wasn't covered-up at all and a mosquito could easily sting her.

Now I think I will go through with the divorce but I have some questions I'd like answered. If she got the Zika virus in Brazil am I still going to have to pay child support? I mean it could get expensive if he child is handicapped. And will her going to Brazil impact child custody because I think it shows she doesn't really care about the kid. Because if she cared about the baby she wouldn't have visited a place that is having a major Zika outbreak, in my opinion.

G.B. in Roswell, GA

Answer:   The Zika virus is certainly cause for concern. Pregnant women should probably not visit Brazil or any other country where the Zika virus is prevalent. There have been numerous warnings issued by public health officials. The World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika.

As for your questions, whether she has contracted Zika or not, it will likely have no bearing on child support or child custody here in Georgia. As the father, if you get divorced and are not awarded custody, you will have to pay child support. The fact that you cautioned her not to go on the trip will not make a difference.

The same is true for child custody. The court's analysis will likely not take into account your warnings of the Zika danger. The court will decide custody based upon the best interests of the child standard.

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William H. Sherman

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