When it comes to creating a prenuptial agreement, the assistance of a professional mediator is a wise approach and a smart investment for both parties. Mediation allows you and your future spouse to fully explore your wants, needs, and goals for the marriage and address the "what-ifs" of divorce. You and your partner will start your marriage with full confidence that you understand and agree on important matters.
In this blog, we explore the benefits of mediation for prenuptial agreements and what the process could look like for you and your fiance.
Benefits of Using Mediation for Your Prenuptial Agreement
When handled in a traditional way, prenuptial negotiations can feel almost adversarial. That’s because, in the traditional model, the wealthier partner’s attorney will draft a prenuptial agreement that meets the needs of their client. They then deliver it to the less-wealthy spouse with directions that he or she should review it with their own lawyer. Negotiations between the lawyers will then ensue and, eventually, both parties would sign the agreement. This process generally feels terrible to both parties because it leaves little room for each party to speak directly to each other and explain what they each want and need to feel financially secure in the marriage. This can not only lead to a lack of trust during the negotiations but can also lead to those feelings being brought into the marriage.
If it’s important for you and your partner to start your marriage off on the right foot with a clear understanding of what you each need to feel secure, you should consider mediation. In mediation you and your partner will meet in neutral territory and take time to explore what's important to each of you.
You and your future spouse will begin your marriage with a full understanding of what is important to both of you. Mediation during the prenuptial agreement process encourages you to actively consider your desires, goals, and needs rather than feeling pressured to accept the other’s terms. We call this “Conscious Coupling.”
As mediators, we have helped a multitude of couples draft prenuptial agreements and are well-versed in topics you may want to address. Instead of using a cookie-cutter template that doesn’t address your unique circumstances, mediation allows you to have a prenup created that accounts for who you each are and the complexities of your specific relationship. Do you have children from a past relationship? Do you have opinions about how you and your spouse will be permitted to use or spend marital assets or funds? Do you want to address how you will care for pets, both during the marriage and in the event of a divorce? Regardless of the unique situations at hand, your mediator will ensure that your prenup covers your needs.
What to Expect During Mediation
Before you begin creating your prenuptial agreement through the mediation process, you and your spouse must make sure you understand your rights and obligations if you don't have a prenup. Talking with an attorney prior to your mediation session can help you understand what you want your prenuptial agreement to do for you and your spouse. Your mediator won't be able to give you legal advice, so if you need guidance navigating issues that you and/or your spouse feel strongly about, you should each retain your own matrimonial attorney prior to mediation.
During the mediation process, your mediator will lead you and your future spouse through a discussion of issues to consider in your marriage and in the event of a divorce, including financial topics such as:
- How you and your spouse will define marital and separate property
- How you will pay any pre-marital debts
- Any guidelines surrounding taking out debt during the marriage
- Opinions or guidelines for each spouse's spending habits in the marriage
- Whether spousal support will be paid and if so, under what conditions
Aside from discussing financial matters, your mediator will help you explore topics like:
- Children from previous relationships
- Obligations to either party’s extended family
- Any other expectations you hold for the marriage
Every couple is different, and you and your spouse may not even know what is important to you until it is brought to your attention in mediation.
Are You Looking for a Prenuptial Mediator?
Working with a mediator to create your prenuptial agreement can set you and your spouse up for a happy, healthy marriage that is built upon a foundation of mutual trust. To learn more about using mediation for your prenuptial agreement or to schedule a consultation to discuss your options, contact Vacca Family Law Group at 212-768-1115 today.