Pre-nuptial agreements are commonly viewed as something only the wealthy need. However, their benefits can be of value to any couple engaged to be married, whether well-to-do or of more modest means.
These agreements describe in writing what will happen in the event the couple’s marriage ends, whether by divorce or the death of one spouse. It can identify what will happen to the assets the couple owns, how much one party will pay to the other in spousal support and for how long, and even delineate what the surviving spouse will receive in the event of the other spouse’s death.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements Can Reduce the Financial and Emotional Costs of a Future Divorce
At least one out of two marriages ends in divorce, often accompanied by lots of stress, contentiousness and uncertainty. By including a pre-nuptial agreement as part of the preparation for marriage, couples young and old can determine what’s going to happen if the union does not work out at a time when their feelings toward each other are the most magnanimous, rather in the midst of rage and bitterness.
By doing so, the couple enhances the possibility that should they divorce theirs will be less costly, less emotionally wearing, and less time-consuming than the typical divorce, which is often fueled by high levels of anger and a mutual desire for retribution. And, by planning it now in the best of times when they are not adversaries, the couple affords themselves the best opportunity to insure that the divorce, should it occur, will be one that is equitable to both parties.
Even Talking About a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Makes Many Couples Uncomfortable
Even so, despite the potential benefits, many couples shy away from seriously considering a pre-nuptial agreement because it can be very uncomfortable and potentially alienating to negotiate the end of one’s marriage before it has actually begun. It’s a hard topic to even bring up with each other.
Cynthia Fox understands this reluctance, yet she is also knows full well about the intense pain and anxiety that comes with a chaotic and vengeful divorce. That’s why she has worked exhaustively to find ways to reduce the combativeness, economic waste and emotional destructiveness associated with divorce by pioneering her innovative approach called the ConstructiveDivorce® (Learn more about the ConstructiveDivorce).
Cynthia is also a court-approved mediator with over a dozen years experience helping couples, despite being estranged from each other, productively and peacefully negotiate the end of their marriage. (See Divorce Mediation) In the process, they save themselves hundreds and often thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees while avoiding much of the emotional distress of the traditional divorce.
Mediation Helps Couples Overcome Their Discomfort To Create An Equitable Agreement
Cynthia is convinced that mediating a pre-nuptial agreement is the best approach. In mediation, Cynthia meets only with the engaged couple together, never separately. She works hard to make negotiating the terms of the agreement a user-friendly task, rather than distasteful and alienating. As an experienced family-law attorney, she knows how the agreement should be created to conform to the requirements of the law.
Alternatively, Cynthia is well-qualified to represent just one of the parties in the preparation of a pre-nuptial agreement, should that be the desired relationship.
When Is The Best Time To Begin?
Ideally, the couple should begin as soon after their engagement as possible, and certainly before issuing any announcements or invitations, renting the hall, hiring the caterer etc. etc. Legally, pre-nuptial agreements negotiated just prior to the marriage are much more susceptible to challenge than one completed well in advance. Psychologically, the parties are more likely to create an agreement both can accept when there is not the added pressure of having to cancel all their arrangements in the event the negotiations break down.