Some individuals choose to be single parents by conceiving through IVF, a sperm donor, an egg donor, or a friend. However, they don’t consider the role the other biological parent should or shouldn’t have in their child’s life. For instance, what happens when the child is born, and one parent claims sole legal and physical custody against the others’ wishes?
This mistake and other similar ones can lead to complicated legal disputes. However, a preconception arrangement may help to solve these issues even before the child’s conception. We’ll discuss what a preconception agreement is and what it should possibly contain.
What is a Preconception Agreement?
A preconception agreement is a written document that sets out a pregnancy intention and the resulting child’s upbringing. This document is usually in place before the conception of the child. It lets you decide if you want your donor or co-parent to be in your child’s life and on what terms.
Everyone taking part in a preconception agreement must be involved in preparing and signing the document. However, before putting together any contract, you should seek legal guidance from custody lawyers in West Chester PA.
What a Preconception Agreement Contains
Generally, there are no set rules on what a preconception agreement should contain. However, it should reflect all your discussions with the other party. Essential topics include practical plans for conception, custody and visitation arrangement, and child support or financial responsibility for the child.
In detail, the preconception agreement should state that the donor has agreed to give sperm or egg for the child’s conception. It should also indicate if the donor will sign as a parent on the child’s birth certificate.
If the donor agrees to relinquish their rights to the child, it should show on the contract. Likewise, it should state that the recipient will have no right to hold the donor legally or financially responsible for the child. The agreement may also set out that the recipient can share responsibility with another partner of choice and can choose the child’s guardian.
If both parties agree to co-parent, the contract should state who the child will live with and with whom they’ll spend time. Parents should agree on who’ll name the child, what religion they’ll raise the child in, and who makes the major decisions. Furthermore, they should decide who’ll pay for expenses relating to child care, health care, education, and extracurricular activities.
Are Preconception Agreements Legally Binding in Court?
Preconception agreements are more like prenuptial agreements. They may not be legally binding in court, and a judge is not bound to enforce the agreement. The child’s best interest will be paramount and take precedence over a preconception contract.
However, these contracts are gaining increasing traction in court. A judge may follow what’s set up in the agreement if it’s fair, sensible, and reasonable. Therefore, it’s vital to have custody lawyers in West Chester, PA, review all terms before agreeing to or signing any pre-conception contract.
If you’re considering being a single parent, you should get a preconception agreement. It’ll help to reflect your expectations for raising your child and help to avoid legal problems arising in the future. Contact one of the best custody lawyers in West Chester, PA, to guide you through the process.