I must admit, as a childless adult, the idea of pregnancy contracts was completely foreign to me before I stumbled upon this article. The idea of a pregnancy contract is that it specifies the responsibilities of each parent at the arrival of a baby. While I personally think that it’s a good idea to have a discussion about responsibilities and that this kind of contract may be a godsend for parents who are no longer romantically involved, it’s not foolproof. The fact that you signed a contract is probably not going to be your motivation at 3am in the morning when the baby is crying. A contract is only as good as the people who sign it and stand by it. It’s a great concept that is designed to reduce stress but unlike a pre-nup, it involves a third variable. Would you really take your spouse to court because they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain? I’m sure that some people would do just that but at the end of the day, the arrival of a new baby should be a conversation topic. Expectations of parenthood should be discussed. I’ll even go a step further to say that parenting duties should be a pre-marriage discussion and even quite possibly in a section of the pre-nup so that expectations are clear from day one instead of trying to decide after the baby arrives. But that’s just what I think.
I was speaking with someone today and we were talking about the state of marriage in the world we live in. The truth is that prenuptial agreements have become more popular because of the rising divorce rates. While I’ve heard conflicting arguments about the rightness or wrongness of having one, I have to say that I believe that for certain couples a prenuptial agreement is a necessity. Think of it this way, we buy insurance for our houses and our cars. Most of us wear a seatbelt when we drive. While insurance and seat belts are something that we hope we never have to use, they certainly come in handy when your safety or security is threatened. In the event of an accident, the terms of the insurance policy that you paid for and agreed to come into play. You can save money and emotional distress because of the preparation that you’ve made for a rainy day. Prenuptial agreements are insurance for your marriage. While many may argue that getting one means that you plan on getting a divorce, I don’t agree. The truth is that people change and you never know what the future may bring. Getting a divorce is usually stressful, time-consuming, and exhausting. It’s also usually very emotionally charged because it signifies the deterioration of a once close relationship. Taking the time to create and sign a prenuptial agreement can be helpful in reducing stress and also may prevent you from (for lack of a better term) getting screwed over by someone who now probably does not have your best interest at heart. Pre-nups between people who are equally poor or broke may not be as important as pre-nups between individuals who have considerable assets and who may have waited until their careers were stable to get married. With more people getting married at older ages and later in their careers, I think that a pre-nup is a good idea. You don’t want to work hard, get married, go through a divorce and have to fight tooth and nail for what you worked hard for. You don’t plan to ever use your insurance but you sure are glad you have it when something unexpected occurs. Just because you’re prepared doesn’t mean that you’re expecting something bad to occur. I believe in hoping for the best while preparing for the worst–especially as it pertains to marriage and pre-nups. It never hurts to have some insurance.