Wedding Awareness: Prenup Season is Upon Us
If the invitations are being printed and table seating arrangements are being finalized, you would have already taken steps securing your personal and corporate wealth prior to your wedding.
Not yet? It’s not too late if you start the process right now.
Structure and Function
Presenting a completed agreement at the height of wedding preparations won’t draw your beloved to the negotiating table. Negotiating the legal issues together at the same table with your legal counsel sitting next to you is reassuring. It also demonstrates your openness and respect for your partner’s input and interests. The collaborative approach brings a predictable structure while offering you dominion over the process to negotiate your domestic contract.
The discussions are confidential and trust is gained through open and transparent meetings. Agendas are derived from the goals each participant seeks to accomplish. Goals prescribing your financial lives together and demarcating asset and debt responsibilities are common. Above all, the tone is set to guide and assist the participants so you work for each other’s benefit.
Goals and expectations are explored in the first meeting. Potential surprises and tough issue discussions are broached in advance by the collaboratively trained lawyers. Each lawyer is ethically bound to represent their own client. Often situations arise when the lawyers will be asked to offer their perspectives to release a deadlock by showing a viable alternative path.
Expectations are explored and cast out against future dreams and economic scenarios. Given the broad experience of the professionals supportive of their clients’ needs, the original plan may morph into novel mutual covenants with reviewable terms as the marriage progresses or unexpectedly ends.
3 Insights for Success
- Clarity brings the goals into focus: The point of the prenuptial agreement is to protect your business interests or inheritance or other valuable assets you do not wish to share if the relationship sours. Be clear about the scope of the restriction, why it’s important to you, and if you know, the duration of the restriction you are seeking.
- It’s the ‘business side’ of the relationship: Your business interests are the accumulation of decades of your work. The investment portfolio represents your shrewdly accumulated retirement fund. Domestic relationships are financial relationships, too. Are your partner’s thoughts worth a consideration?
- Play out different scenarios: Where the responsibilities blur and intentions merge into a joint partnership, the contract may need to be revisited. Will those evolving roles merit a different division?
- To learn more about the Collaborative negotiations Approach for negotiating cohabitation and marriage contracts, please contact Lorisa Stein directly