This is on behalf of a friend:
My friend married a women and they have a rough relationship going on. His wife, wants to have a kid but his worry is that once the kid is born she would use it as a weapon and he will have to bear the financial burden for the rest of the life. We were wondering if there is an agreement that they can get into before she conceives saying that incase they get divorced or seperate, he does not owe anything for childcare & her support.. Does such agreement exist?
No, I don't think so. Married people can enter into post-nuptial agreements that govern distribution of property and spousal support in the event that they divorce. Mind you, Oregon law does not explicitly allow for "post-nuptial agreements." There is some case law suggesting that these might be enforceable; however, the law remains somewhat ambiguous.
The Oregon Supreme Court has invalidated post-nuptial agreements that were made in contemplation of an imminent divorce, when the parties then reconciled and continued to live together for an extended period, but finally divorced later. The theory here is that the intent of the agreement - to divide property and then divorce - was invalidated by their subsequent decision to reconcile. There is also case law that suggests that a post-nuptial agreement can be voided if the party seeking to void it did not have fair disclosure of the other party's assets. (See Day v. Vitus, 102 Or App 97, 792 P2d 1240 (1990).)
But child support, unlike spousal support or distribution of marital property, is explicitly intended for the benefit of the child, not the parents. A parent can't contractually bargain away a child's right to support. I strongly suspect that any such agreement would not be enforceable.
This to me seems so obvious that it should go without saying: if your friend does not sincerely want a child and trust his partner to co-parent with him, he should not do it. This sounds like a desperately untrusting and unhappy relationship. Bearing and raising children is intensely stressful. If things are already this bad, it is unlikely that having a baby will make them better. People often think that a baby will strengthen a shaky relationship; more often, in my experience, the stress and conflicts of parenting push it over the edge. Only have children with someone who you trust to work with you, even if you can't stay in a relationship together.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br>
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