Welcome to the new wrinkle in divorce settlements: the wife's eggs. Sarah Elizabeth Richards lays out the increasingly common scenario in the New York Times today: Say a couple gets married with the intention of having kids but divorces years later without having done so, or without having as many as planned. The husband still has plenty of time to start a new family, but the wife's window is dwindling. If she wants to freeze her eggs and prolong her fertility, should the husband pay the approximately $20,000 cost? Yes, says Richards.
She quotes one legal expert who argues "that a woman’s missed opportunities to have a baby during a marriage could be viewed as a form of 'sacrifice' for which she should be compensated." What's more, writes Richards, "it helps rectify one of life’s greatest biological injustices: that men but not women can typically start a family well into middle age and beyond." Yes, the issue is complex and differs from couple to couple, which is why Richards suggests ironing all this out in a pre-nup. "A couple could agree on money for egg freezing if children didn’t materialize by a certain year." Click for the full column.