Legal divorce experts speak out about Shepherd and Sally surrogate case

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Legal divorce experts speak out about Shepherd and Sally surrogate case

Undoubtedly, this case will be followed closely.  It lit up the headlines a few weeks ago and will stay lit until a final legal decision.

For those who need an update, here’s what’s going on.

While Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally move forward with their divorce proceedings, the issue of their baby which is being carried via surrogate will be a major part of the ruling.

And it should be. The best interest of this unborn child takes precedence.

Earlier this month, Shepherd made headlines touting she no longer wanted to have this baby since her acrimonious breakup.  The baby is due within two weeks.

FoxNews recently wrote an in-depth piece entitled, “Can Sherri Shepherd walk away from unborn surrogate child?

While it gives a decent back story, it leans on legal experts, as well.

As many can expect, Shepherd’s is getting some heat and harsh words from her willingness to close the door on this unborn baby.

reg_634.sherri.mh.060712Yet, Sally wants his baby.

Reporter, Hollie McKay wrote, “…her estranged husband Lamar Sally is preparing to file legal documents to stop her withdrawing from a surrogate contract she signed while they were still together. The couple each filed separate divorce documents in early May.”  Mckay continued, “Sally is said to be the biological father of the child, while an egg donor was reportedly used through in-vitro fertilization.”

An unnamed source who knows Shepherd told FOX411that Shepherd wanted nothing to do with the baby and refuses to pay child support, McKay wrote.  This source shared with Fox News, “She is not budging and is completely detached. She feels very just in her actions and claims the child is not hers.”

What Shepherd feels and what Shepherd’s legal responsibilities are can be quite different following a judge’s ruling.

Shepherd and Sally were married in 2011.  In the article, Fox News reported that Shepherd has a net worth of $10 million, whereas Sally has less.  In 2010, his reported earnings were $30,000.

McKay reports, “Shepherd claims that Sally defrauded her from entering into the surrogate agreement, alleging that he planned to file for divorce but wanted her commitment to paying child support.”

And since Shepherd is the breadwinner, she’d more than likely be making the payments.

Looking ahead, McKay asked a couple legal experts their forecasted opinions about this case.

While divorces are generally always complicated, this one has been made more so because Shepherd filed for divorce in New Jersey and Sally filed in California.

McKay noted that New Jersey doesn’t normally recognize surrogacy whereas California does.

“But legal experts say California will most likely take the first stab at the case,” Mckay writes.

McKay turned to Jeffrey Hoffer, a divorce and family attorney in California for legal feedback.

“Whoever served his or her case first will win on which state court will hear the matter. But I am inclined to believe that despite the fact that she did not carry the child and the egg is not hers, that in California she will still be on the hook for child support because she signed a contract and the court will find the payment of support is in the child’s best interest,” said Hoffer, quoted in the article.  He went on to say, “You do not get to make babies by contract or otherwise and then get to walk away from your obligations.”

Lamar+Sally+Sherri+Shepherd+engaged+vEYwvtACeYglDuring the interview, Hoffer mentioned to McKay that if social services were to intervene, the baby could end up in foster care.  But since money is not an issue, the parents of this child will be paying for its support.

Hoffer told Mckay, “This is a child, not a piece of property.  And if Lamar wanted to use a baby to get support that would have been a stupid thing to do because the responsibility of raising a child vastly outweighs the amount of money he’ll receive in return.”

McKay then turned to Leo Terrell of CleartheCourt.com for some answers.

“A divorce court will rule that both husband and wife will have responsibility in taking care of the surrogate child, and given that Sherri is the biggest earner, she will most likely have to foot the child support bills,” Terrell said in the article.

While it’s been “mum’s the word” for Shepherd’s public relation reps, a Twitter post appeared on cyberspace earlier this week.

Shepherd typed, “Keep the prayers coming… Still got more battles – please judge me by my character and not from the tabloids who are having a slow news day.”

Speaking of days, they are nearing for the arrival of this baby.  Egos have to be tossed aside so this baby can get the love and care it deserves.