The idea of a baby-nup has recently started to gain interest on social media. However, it’s been further fueled by an article in the U.S. magazine Parade—which has spurred debate.
MSN’s article, “Would you sign a 'baby-nup'? New trend sees expectant parents drawing up contracts to agree how they'll divide childcare and chores,” explains that the concept involves signing an agreement to split up chores fairly between the two parents before the child is born and agree on custody arrangements, if the couple winds up divorcing.
Parade magazine interviewed a couple, Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich and Daniel Ilkovich, who had a series of meetings ahead of their daughter's birth to detail some of the tasks in their future.
They decided “what they wanted to try to keep about their lives (date nights, gym time, etc.) and how they would make it all work, including who would also handle chores, as well as day-to-day things like pediatrician appointments and Amazon orders.” After two years, every morning and every evening is designated to one or the other parent.
Some on social media were quick to say it seemed like a great idea. Another commented “It sounds good in theory. However, many circumstances could change, by the time you have a baby or get divorced.”
Others said that parenting should be done equally, without the need for a contract stipulating the conditions. As a result, there doesn’t need to be a document to divide up responsibilities.
Another commented: “Oh for goodness sake!! Babies are really not that difficult, if you're doing it right!”
Other parents were quick to point out that it's difficult to predict the realities of parenthood, until after the child is born. The responsibilities were often unequal at times.
One person said that until you've lived it, it's hard to know who will need extra support and that sometimes one partner will need to carry the other.
Another writer added, “It's called being a parent. Either embrace every good, bad, wonderful and annoying thing that comes with it, or don't have kids.”
While considering baby-nups and pre-nups, soon-to-be marrieds should also see an estate planning attorney to discuss creating an estate plan to protect each other. That includes a will, power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.