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8900Pregnant Woman Denied Divorce

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  • n1n31nchn3rd
    Jan 1, 2005
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      Pregnant Woman Denied Divorce

      SPOKANE, Wash., Jan. 1, 2005

      (AP) A judge has refused to grant a divorce to a pregnant woman trying to leave her husband two
      years after he was jailed for beating her, ruling instead that she must wait until the child is

      Shawnna Hughes' husband was convicted of abuse in 2002. She separated from him after the attack
      and filed for divorce last April. She later became pregnant by another man and is due in March.

      Her husband, Carlos, never contested the divorce, and the court commissioner approved it in
      October. But the divorce papers failed to note that Hughes was pregnant, and when the judge
      found out, he rescinded the divorce.

      "There's a lot of case law that says it is important in this state that children not be
      illegitimized," Superior Court Judge Paul Bastine told The Spokesman-Review newspaper on Thursday.

      Hughes' attorney, Terri Sloyer, said nothing in state law says a pregnant woman cannot get a

      "We don't live in 15th-century England," said Sloyer, who has appealed.

      Under Washington state law, a husband is presumed to be the father of any child born within 300
      days of a divorce. The judge argued that the paternity of the child needs to be determined
      before a divorce can be finalized.

      Hughes has stated in court records that her boyfriend is the child's father, and that the
      judge's decision prevented her from marrying him.

      "She has the right to divorce and be free to marry whoever she wants," Sloyer said. "It's about
      the choice, the fundamental right to choose."