Premarital agreements are frequently important as you start out your marriage, especially if you or your spouse has substantial assets. However, this process can be awkward and uncomfortable for both parties involved. Opting to mediate your agreement can help reduce some of the bitterness often associated with the oppositional nature of this process.
Benefits of Premarital Mediation
The benefits of premarital mediation include:
- Provides a friendly approach to an uncomfortable subject
- Allows couples to work together to devise an agreement that is fair to both sides
- Helps couples develop communication skills which can benefit them throughout their marriage
- Eliminates the power struggle common in most premarital agreements
- Quicker and cheaper than negotiating the agreement between two attorneys
Issues to Consider in Your Premarital Agreement
Before you create your premarital agreement, you will want to carefully consider the following issues:
Premarital Assets and Debts – assets and debts acquired by each party before the marriage:
- Will they remain separate property and go back to the person who accumulated them before the marriage?
- Will your separate property become joint marital property?
- If premarital property is used to buy a home or pay off your spouse’s debts, will the paying party need to be reimbursed?
Marital Property – assets the couple acquires together during the marriage:
- Will assets be joint and therefore split evenly?
- Will you have an alternative arrangement to divide marital assets?
Management of Assets and Income:
- Will you make financial decisions together, or will one person control the finances?
- Will you have joint bank accounts, separate bank accounts, or both?
- What are your long-term financial goals? Do they match those of your spouse?
Credit and debt:
- How will old debts be paid off?
- Will one spouse be taking on the debt of the other, or will it remain separate?
Spousal Support/Alimony– it is not essential to deal with this topic, but it might be helpful in the event that the marriage ends in divorce:
- Will there be any restrictions on the amount, terms, and length of support?
- Will your spousal support terms mirror those allowed by your state’s laws, or do you want to make alternative arrangements?
Jacoby & Meyers Can Help
At Jacoby & Meyers, our mediators are highly trained and certified. We can help guide you through all of the important issues pertaining to a premarital agreement in a way that keeps the process as positive and fair as possible. Our goal is for both parties in the agreement to feel that their interests are represented and that a fair settlement has been reached.