When is a babysitter contract necessary?

Not every babysitting relationship warrants a formal written agreement, says Steven Katz, a contract attorney in Columbus, Ohio. For example, it’s uncommon to establish a written agreement when the babysitter is a family member. But if you’re hiring a babysitter you aren’t related to, there are legal reasons why you would want a contract in place, Katz says.

“When inviting someone into your home for a business purpose or for any purpose, you open yourself up to potential litigation if something goes wrong,” he says. “Even if the agreement is brief, it is better than nothing.”

Ultimately, whether or not you decide to put together a contract with your babysitter is up to you, but generally speaking, the more routine the care, the more helpful having a formalized agreement can be to establish expectations, LaRowe says.

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