Suggesting a prenuptial agreement to your significant other can be a difficult conversation. Prenuptial agreements have a reputation for causing extremely negative interactions and discord within a couple both before and after their marriage. But in many cases, prenuptial agreements are both valid and necessary. In situations where an individual is entering their second marriage, they may want to protect their children’s inheritance by having their spouse sign a prenuptial agreement. But broaching this topic can still be very difficult. At its core, a prenuptial agreement may make your partner feel like there is a lack of trust in the relationship. This can greatly sour an engagement and echo into the early years of your marriage. Getting the conversation going sooner rather than later about finances can help the couple start their marriage on a firm foundation.
Is A Prenuptial Agreement Worth It?
A traditional prenuptial agreement requires both parties to get their own lawyers to negotiate the inner workings of the agreement. The process is anything but romantic and can lead to weeks or months of disagreements and fights between the couple. Unfortunately, some attorneys do not consider the health of the marriage as a factor when helping draw up the prenuptial agreement. Because each lawyer is only serving one half of the couple, they often can be combative and working to get the best result for their client instead of the best result for the couple. Some couples worry that by getting a prenuptial agreement there is already a self-fulfilling prophecy that the relationship will fail. Choosing to pursue a prenuptial agreement should be carefully considered. However, in many cases the need to protect assets is valid.
How Does Mediation Affect Prenuptial Agreements?
The traditional process for getting a prenuptial agreement is strikingly similar to the traditional process to get a divorce; each person gets a lawyer and the adversarial process begins. Mediation seeks to decrease the combative element to getting legal agreements during any stage of a relationship. Instead of both parties working with their own counsel, mediation requires that couples work together with a single mediator. Whether this happens between unmarried couples looking to separate, married couples planning to get divorced, or newly engaged couples that need prenuptial agreements, the goal remains the same: less fighting, more collaboration. Mediation has many benefits over traditional litigation. It is private, less time-consuming, more cost-effective, and most importantly it seeks to prevent strife. Marriage is a partnership and beginning that partnership by working separately with different lawyers is a bit counterintuitive. Mediation on the other hand allows couples to have difficult conversations about prenuptial agreements together. This doesn’t make prenuptial agreements the easiest thing in the world, but it is definitely a smoother process with mediation.
Why Working With A Mediator Works
As a soon to be married couple, the bedrock of your relationship is made with trust, understanding one another’s points of view, and of compromise. All of these elements are at the forefront of mediation. Instead of forcing a couple to seek their own legal counsel and fight for their financial security, the couple works collaboratively with a mediator. A trained mediator ensures that both couple’s opinions are heard and are represented in the final agreement. It is obvious why mediation is miles above traditional litigation when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Having challenging conversations during your engagement and working together towards a mutually beneficial compromise is a much better way to begin a marriage than forcing one party to give up their needs.
Prenuptial Mediation in Massachusetts
Deirdre Healy is an experienced mediator and family lawyer. Her aim is to help couples seek legal agreements without sacrificing their relationship or injecting unnecessary strife and disagreements into the process. She provides her mediation services at any stage of the relationship from prenuptial agreements to separation. Regardless of where a couple is in their relationship, Deirdre Healy helps the couple navigate gaining necessary legal provisions without undermining the relationship. If you would like to know more about mediation for prenuptial agreements, please contact our office.