It’s critical that individuals take a “me-first” stance when dealing with relationship contracts. Most couples don’t believe that they might split up someday. Many people don’t believe that a current loved one might ever act in a way that can harm them even when they’re told in writing that the possibility exists. Consider the following:
- In 2014, Arizona resident Ruby Torres found out that she had cancer. She and her boyfriend, John Joseph Terrell, decided to marry and freeze her fertilized eggs before treatment. They agreed via a written clinic contract that either of them could use or donate the eggs if they ever ended their relationship.
- They divorced in 2017. As expected, Ruby tried to use the eggs because her treatment affected her ability to reproduce. John refused. His reasons included a concern about court-enforced child support.
- Per their contract, both parties had to consent to one of them using the eggs for personal reasons. A portion of the contract was vague about court involvement if they couldn’t agree. Subsequent trials resulted in Ruby losing the case in family court, winning the appeal and then losing again in the Arizona Supreme Court.
At Granholm & Gynac, we do everything possible to guarantee that our clients weigh the pros and cons of contract terms so that they make informed decisions before signing. During a stressful life event, Ruby Torres made common mistakes that ultimately limited her options. To schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you prevent this type of scenario, contact us today.