The Mediated Prenup

Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
- Max Lucado

For couples getting married, much time is often spent planning the wedding and honeymoon, as well as discussing where to live, what to spend and how to raise children. In keeping with this goal to plan for the future, it may be just as beneficial for these couples to talk about, and put in writing, what will happen if they don't live happily ever after. After all, divorce is a reality that exists in approximately half of all first marriages (and more in second and third marriages).

Some people believe that prenuptial agreements, or prenups, ruin the romance in a loving relationship by suggesting that the marriage may not last forever. However, communicating openly about money matters before marriage may actually improve a relationship if done in a fair, respectful and collaborative manner. To view it in romantic terms, you are protecting your future spouse from unnecessary ambiguity and hostility in the event of a divorce. Further, you are proving to each other that you can work out anything together“ a hallmark of a strong, lasting relationship.

In a mediation setting, couples work as partners, face-to-face, in the creation of their prenup. While they are in a cooperative emotional state, they can express concerns over difficult issues like finances, property and debt, and make decisions that reflect their interests and values. The process is private, non-adversarial and non-coercive, and encourages honest communication. Before signing their prenup, both parties should have it reviewed by independent attorneys. Since most of the tough decisions have already been made in mediation, it should not be a difficult process. It will simply ensure that both sides understand their rights and obligations under the contract.