Prenuptial Agreements

Why Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

People have mixed feelings about prenuptial agreements. What could be less romantic than discussing the end of your marriage before it begins? Don’t we all enter marriage thinking it is forever? Why else would we ever marry? Yet sometimes a prenup makes sense. This is especially the case when parties have been married before and have children from their prior marriages. It is easy to understand the desire to protect your children by making sure a new spouse will not receive assets intended for your children. It is also understandable when parents want their child to have a prenuptial agreement to protect family assets that their child will inherit. So how do you accomplish these goals without destroying the love and trust between the couple anticipating marriage?

The Shark Divorce Lawyer Approach

Use a Divorce Mediator, not a Shark, for your Prenuptial Agreement
Typically, a person concerned about protecting assets when anticipating marriage, often motivated by fear, will hire a divorce lawyer. The divorce lawyer will go about zealously protecting his or her client by drafting a prenuptial agreement that fully protects the client without any regard for the interests of the intended spouse. When the intended receives the draft prenup, he or she will consult another shark divorce lawyer to create a counter proposal to the harsh prenuptial agreement. From this point on, the parties are in an adversarial situation. They will become defensive and angry because their lawyers will tell them that their intended is trying to take advantage of them. This battle often plays out only weeks or days before the wedding date and creates a cloud over the joyous event. Eventually the parties will give up and sign the agreement whether or not they think it is fair, with the hope that they will never actually get to a point where it is needed. There is an alternative way to accomplish the desired goal of protecting assets is a manner that is fair to both parties.

The Divorce Lawyer Mediator Approach

Imagine an honest conversation between the parties about their respective fears, concerns and desires. A divorce lawyer who is acting as a mediator will sit with a couple to facilitate such a conversation. Each party will have an opportunity to hear and be heard. The divorce lawyer can explain to the couple what rights they would have upon the termination of their marriage by death or divorce in the absence of a prenuptial agreement. That will enable a consideration of whether, and to what extent, the couple wishes to vary from their legal positions. Then the mediator can then draft an agreement that makes sense to the couple. Each will likely have the agreement reviewed by his or her own divorce lawyer. Review by separate divorce lawyers will provide comfort to the parties that the agreement they are signing is reasonable. Independent review by separate divorce lawyers will also aid in making the agreement enforceable if it ever needs to be enforced.

About Vicki Volper

I am a divorce attorney in Westport who empowers people to divorce in a manner that maintains their dignity, preserves their assets and protects their children.
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