When a woman and her husband were still married, they signed an agreement regarding their frozen embryos. That agreement said that, in the event of a divorce, those embryos would simply be destroyed. Both parties were on board with the idea at the time.

However, now that they have really gotten divorced, the couple is at odds. The man still wants to go through with what they agreed upon and destroy the embryos. The woman, though, has decided she wants to keep them.

The woman’s reasoning is that, since she got cancer, it may be too risky for her to have children in any other way. If that is impossible, she says these embryos are the only path she still has open to her to become a mother.

The court recently made a tentative ruling in the case, though, and it said that the man’s wishes had to be respected. Since the legal document was in place and had been signed, the embryos could be discarded, even against the woman’s wishes.

The judge indicated that there were strong emotions often tied to family issues. He said that this meant the best way to make these types of decisions was often to go back to when emotions were not running as high. In this case, that means looking at what the couple wanted and agreed upon before they decided to split up.

Though cases like this are uncommon, this does show just how complex divorce cases can get when children—or potential children—are involved. It is very important for parents in Texas to know all of their legal rights

Source: CBS News, “Judge: Divorced California couple’s embryos can be discarded,” Nov. 18, 2015