If you’re reading this blog, a congratulations are in order. You are getting married and that’s one of the most joyous events in one’s lifetime. For those of you interested in a prenup, that’s not an evil or bad thing. So rest assured, you are not a bad person for wanting a prenuptial agreement or for suggesting this desire to your future spouse.
While a carefully drafted prenuptial agreement can reduce financial tensions in the marriage and make the marriage better, they are most often drafted by attorneys to the detriment of the other party. These agreements often go far beyond what is needed to accomplish the goals of the couple, and because money and finances are chore aspects of any marriage, overdrawn prenups written by harsh litigating attorneys can cripple a marriage before it even begins.
For those searching for a San Diego prenuptial attorney to mediate and draft a prenup through mediation, you have found the right place. In mediation, the couple formulates the terms of the prenup, face-to-face, with the assistance of our experienced San Diego attorney mediators. Unlike agreements that are born from the couple each “lawyering up,” our services enable parties to model communication, collaboration, and mutual understanding and respect in coming to the terms of the prenup. This action at the outset of the marriage is an achievement that reflects the connecting process of a good marriage.
Pre-nuptial Agreements Through Traditional Methods
Typically the prenup is created at the behest of the more-moneyed spouse who hires a lawyer. That lawyer draws up the first draft of a typical “off-the-shelf” prenup. It says that all money earned during the marriage is the husband’s to control. All property accumulated before the marriage and proceeds and gains on it are also his to control. And the husband can decide whether or not to leave his new wife anything if he dies while the marriage is ongoing, even if they’ve been married 30 years. And she has no legal rights remaining to contest any of these terms.
And, by the way, the prenup limits the amount and length of spousal support for the lower earner. Even if she leaves the job market and becomes a stay-at-home spouse with children and the marriage is very long, there is no or very little alimony. We call this the “scorched-earth” prenup and we’ve seen it a hundred times. This becomes the first salvo in the prenup scuffle.
The more-moneyed party presents the one-sided document to future spouse who is hurt and taken back. And this feeling only gets worse when they take the agreement to an attorney who informs this person that they are being screwed. The future husband trusts his attorney who insists that they keep the draft as the final version. Changing the prenup becomes a difficult battle.
What proceeds is a series of fairly ugly negotiations through the two attorneys. The future spouses are very uncomfortable because they are now adversaries in a legal process. The less-moneyed spouse feels isolated because they can’t share what’s happening with their family out of fear the family will turn on the future spouse. Tired of each other and the entire subject, they end up signing a flawed document to just get it over. However, the anger and hurt generated by this process will always be remembered, and the memory of those very negative initial terms damages the relationship, perhaps even making divorce more likely.
A better alternative – the Mediated Prenup.
A significant part of my practice has been as a mediator between two fiancés who wish to put a prenup into place for good reasons. Our mediation clients have found the mediation process to be a much better way for them to come to terms when a prenup is needed. So if you’re looking for a prenuptial attorney in San Diego to mediate your prenup, please give us a call.
A mediator is a neutral party who works to hear each side and level the playing field. Each of the future spouses will be able to express his/her thoughts about what the prenup should do. A party can also, in the mediation session, express the opinion that no prenup is needed. The mediator can help the couple reconcile differences in a fair way that is satisfactory to each. Mediation does not feel like bullying. The parties are in control of the process.
There is no better way to come to a true meeting of the minds than to do it face-to-face in mediation sessions with an experienced prenup mediator. Part of leveling the playing field is hearing from the person that doesn’t really want a prenup or at least didn’t ask for one. That person often is concerned or fearful about expressing their concerns. Giving both people a venue to feel comfortable about expressing their interests and desires helps to ensure equity between the parties.
In most cases, the mediation clients have reviewing attorneys look at the agreement. The parties’ attorneys can provide input during the process and can be a helpful part of the mediation process. They can make good suggestions as to how to make the prenup better and more reflective of the future spouses’ goals.
With the aid of Scott Levin and his colleagues at San Diego Family Mediation Services, San Diego prenup mediation clients report that they are very happy with the final result and the mediation process. They still feel love and affection for each other as they embark on their wedding and future, and support the terms of the prenup. This has the effect of making the prenup more enforceable if it ever needs to be put into effect. The more moneyed spouse doesn’t feel like a bully, because he wasn’t one. The other spouse doesn’t feel bullied. They both feel that the final agreement reflects both of their needs and interests.
They have performed the first challenging act of their marital union and have done it well. They saved time, saved money, improved communication and showed generosity and love to each other. They can walk down the aisle with their heads held proudly. The mediated prenup has not hurt their chances of having a strong, lifetime marriage.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about mediation attorney Scott Levin and our female/male co-mediation team. Simply contact us at 858-255-1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can book a free consultation on our website. Our well-educated, experienced, creative and compassionate team is standing by to help.