The Internet has given rise to a host of new rituals related to welcoming a child into the world.  From maternity photoshoots to gender reveal parties to “babymoon” vacations, social media can leave you with the impression that each day of your pregnancy should be a separate baby shower.  If you believe the Internet, then it is normal to draft a “baby nup,” which is like a prenuptial agreement, except it sets the terms for your relationship after the birth of your baby, so as to prevent the marital conflicts that many new parents face.  From a legal standpoint, there is no such thing as a parenting equivalent of a prenuptial agreement, but any divorce lawyer will advise you that making plans together about your child’s upbringing can make your better parents, whether you are still married to each other or not.

The Benefits and Limitations of Prenuptial Agreements in South Carolina

Contrary to stereotypes, prenuptial agreements are not just for cynical philanderers and trophy wives whose marriages are doomed to fail.  Prenuptial agreements can help engaged couples make decisions about debts, pet ownership, inherited wealth, and other financial matters than could become a source of conflict during their marriage.  Far from preparing for divorce even before the wedding, prenups can resolve marital conflicts before they happen; they can even reduce the chances of divorce.

It is not legal, however, to include provisions in a prenup about a couple’s future children.  Making decisions about children before they are conceived is equal parts wise and futile. You might decide, for example, that you want two children and are willing to spend X amount of money on fertility treatments before pursuing adoption.  Thinking about those “what ifs” together will help you communicate as a couple, but you might also get pregnant with triplets, making it impossible to adhere to your original plan.

Parenting Plans: How South Carolina Law Handles Parenting Decisions

The closest thing South Carolina recognizes to a “baby nup” is the parenting plan, although the latter is for children who already exist.  Couples who are going through a divorce and never-married parents who share custody of a child must sign a parenting plan. It addresses some of the same questions as the baby nup, such as which parent is responsible for driving the child to and from the other parent’s house, which grandparents see the child on which holidays, and which parent has the final decision about the child’s participation in extracurricular activities.  Parenting plans do not deal with child support or other financial issues; rather, they set rules for other matters that could lead to conflict if parents tried to deal with them without a formal agreement.

Contact Briggs Law Firm About Co-Parenting

If you and your ex-spouse are at an impasse about how to raise your children, a family law attorney can help.  Briggs Law Firm works with divorce and child custody cases.  Contact Briggs Law in Greenville, South Carolina to discuss your case.

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