Prenuptial Agreement Mediation Service in Worcester

Throughout the country thousands of couples sign prenuptial agreements prior to getting married. Prenuptials agreements, colloquially known as “prenups,” have many values for couples. Prenuptial agreements can protect assets prior to a marriage and are often used in an individual’s second marriage if they want to protect their existing children’s inheritance. However, through both popular culture as well as the nature of prenuptial agreements, there is a certain stigma associated with the agreement. Many individuals worry that asking their significant other to sign a prenuptial agreement could come across as disrespectful or cause strife in the relationship. That is where mediation can be invaluable. 

An abstract image of a couple getting a divorce

Why Couples Should Use Mediation For Prenuptial Agreements

As mentioned above there is a certain stigmatization associated with prenuptial agreements. While in their essence, prenuptials are designed to protect an individual’s financial assets, there is a sense that requiring your significant other to sign a prenuptial agreement before the wedding demonstrates a level of distrust. This can quickly cause arguments and disagreements prior to your marriage. But that doesn’t mean individuals shouldn’t protect their assets or their children’s inheritance. Instead, couples should look towards mediation. Mediators are trained to help couples work together towards legal settlements and agreements. Instead of going through traditional litigation with a single attorney, both parties in the couple can work together to decide the details of the prenuptial agreement. By collaborating together, neither party will feel like their thoughts or opinions are being ignored for the sake of the other. Mediating prenuptial agreements is an effective way to get the protection you need without sacrificing your relationship or undermining trust. 

How Prenuptial Mediation Works

Similar to mediation for separation, prenuptial mediation works by having both members of the couple meet with their mediator. The mediator’s role is to guide the couple as they discuss different factors of their prenuptial agreement. Mediators do not make any decisions for the couple but instead provide examples from their previous experiences and guide the couple through the entire process. When the prenuptial agreement is written and agreed upon your mediator will work to make it legally binding. By working together through this process you can avoid most of the negativity that is associated with prenuptial agreements. Once the prenup is drafted, each party must receive advice from their own attorney to review the agreement; that is a requirement pursuant to the case law.

More Information on Prenuptial Mediation

Like with any form of mediation, choosing the right mediator is arguably the most important part of the process. Experienced mediators can make the process easier and help couples avoid strife. By working with the couple, mediators can make sure that both parties feel heard and understood and that their point of view is represented in the final decision. It is helpful for the couple to have a discussion about finances which can prevent future misunderstandings about their marital economic partnership. Additionally, it is beneficial to work with mediators that also have experience as family lawyers. Some mediators do not have legal experience. Working with a lawyer can ensure that your prenuptial agreement is legally sound before it is submitted. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements

Every individual’s experience is unique. Whether or not you should get a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage is contingent on a variety of factors. Some of the main reasons you should consider a nuptial agreement are the following: 

  • You Own A Business: Owning a business or co-owning a business means that you likely own a lot of wealth through assets. In the event of a separation, a prenuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement can protect your business and your assets.
  • You May Receive A Large Inheritance: If you are aware of a large inheritance you may receive in the future, a nuptial agreement can ensure that any money, property or other assets are protected in the event of a separation.
  • There Is A Large Gap In Wealth Between You And Your Partner: If you and your spouse have a large discrepancy in wealth, income, or property/other assets you may want to consider a pre or post nuptial agreement.
  • You Have Children From a Previous Marriage: If you have children, parents, or other individuals that will depend on you to help secure their financial future, you may want to have prenup in place to ensure that you have the assets you need to support the. 

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is unique to the couple. It can cover the division of ownership of property and other assets. It can also cover the division of ownership of any debts of either party when entering a marriage. Nuptial agreements can also have provisions for inheritance as well as spousal support. 

A prenuptial agreement should be discussed and signed well in advance of the wedding. Honestly, this is one of the earliest conversations you should have with your spouse. If a nuptial agreement is challenged in court, the court could potentially question if the agreement was signed under duress, coercion, if the agreement was signed too close to the wedding date.  This could affect the outcome of a challenge. 

Much like with a divorce or modifying a court order, you can work with a mediator when creating a prenuptial agreement. The benefit is that the final agreement will be agreed on by both parties. There is a stigma against nuptial agreements in how they can “spoil” a marriage. But in many cases, a nuptial agreement is recommended. By working with a mediator, this process can be more collaborative and less one-sided. 

For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable by the court the following must be true: 

  • The agreement was signed in writing and was witnessed
  • Both parties need to provide complete disclosure of any assets or liabilities
  • There cannot be any evidence that the agreement was signed due to duress or coercion 
  • Provisions must be legally permissible

As the name suggests, a prenuptial agreement happens prior to the marriage. A postnuptial agreement may be created after the marriage. Like a prenuptial agreement, this agreement is designed to protect parties’ assets in the event that the couple chooses to separate. Some couples decide to get a postnuptial agreement because they become aware of an inheritance or attain new assets during the marriage. 

No, a prenuptial agreement is designed to handle the divisions of assets and liabilities between a couple. The court will also do what is determined to be best for the child(ren) based at the time of the separation. Any provisions about child support or visitation will be decided during the separation. 

Contact Deirdre Healy To Set Up A Mediation Appointment

Deirdre Healy has helped many couples in the Worcester area through prenuptial mediation. She has the experience and resources necessary to assist both parties in creating an agreement that works for both of them. Contact Deirdre Healy today to discuss setting up a mediation appointment. Additionally, through online telecommunication platforms like Zoom, Deirdre Healy is able to provide prenuptial mediation services remotely. Contact our office for more information.