While most family law mediation firms emphasize mediating family law issues after a divorce, there really is no reason why the same issues (usually property and support) cannot be mediated before the marriage.
Many people desire to have a prenuptial agreement in place before they get married. They may be people who have acquired a high net worth when they were single or they may have significant assets they want to preserve for their children or they just may want to have a plan in place on the remote chance the marriage will fail. Whatever the reason a person may have for wanting a prenuptial agreement, it is something that should not be sprung on one’s prospective spouse on the eve of marriage. Indeed, such a tactic may be counterproductive because of the potential for causing duress on the other spouse (which may undermine the validity of the document).
If you are considering having a prenuptial agreement before entering into marriage, a better approach would be a mediated prenuptial agreement. With a mediated prenup the parties can fully participate in the negotiation process, can make full and fair disclosures, and grant each other the leisure to consult with an outside expert, such as an attorney, prior to finalizing the agreement.
California prenuptial agreements have very strict statutory rules that favor full and fair disclosure, active negotiation of the agreement, and sufficient time to reflect upon the prenuptial agreement. A mediated prenuptial agreement should generally observe these principles and help the marrying parties plan for any future contingencies.
Derrick J. Taberski is an experience family law attorney and mediator. If you are interested in mediating a prenuptial agreement he would be happy to assist you.