Many Florida readers are familiar with the work of Sofia Vergara, one of the stars of “Modern Family.” The actress has been fighting a child custody battle for some time now as she and her former partner argue over what to do with two frozen embryos created during their relationship. Vergara’s ex, Nick Loeb, wants to use the embryos to have children, a move Vergara strongly opposes.
The case has moved to several different courts, and Loeb is now trying to have the matter heard in a state with strong pro-life leanings. Many people believe that courts in pro-life states are more likely to side with the party who wants to bring frozen embryos to term. Vergara wants the case to be heard in federal court, and has challenged jurisdiction.
In a recent hearing, a judge sided with Loeb, stating that federal courts don’t have the proper jurisdiction to hear the matter. Vergara is expected to ask the court to reconsider. As the matter continues, jurisdiction could be a key factor in the eventual outcome. There is no word on whether Loeb plans to seek child support from Vergara, who is often listed as one of the highest paid actresses in television.
For those in Florida who are considering using frozen embryos to conceive a child, this case serves as a warning about the need to take care in handling the legalities. There are contracts that can be drafted to specifically address what happens to frozen embryos in the event of a divorce or difference of opinion. That can help prevent the type of child custody litigation discussed here.