Prenup Mediation | Marcia Mediation

A family law mediator requires a diverse set of skills to effectively facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties involved in family law matters. Some of the key skills of a family law mediator include: 1. Communication Skills: Mediators ne...

Prenup mediation can help marrying couples to set out arrangements for the division of their assets and finances, in the event that the marriage fails at some future point. This arrangement is called a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and is an increasingly common feature of many modern marriages and civil partnerships. A Pre-Nuptial Agreement can be entered into by mixed-sex and same-sex couples alike, ahead of a civil partnership or marriage - some of the reasons and relevant issues may be different, but the process is fundamentally the same. Marcia Mediation's experienced family mediators can help with this process by speaking to all parties, determining what finances and assets need to be protected, and drawing up a prenup that is more likely to be respected in the future by a judge.

Why use a Prenup?

A prenup is a way to protect an individual before entering into the legal union of a marriage or civil partnership, and is common in relationships where one partner is significantly wealthier than the other.

For example, a Pre-Nuptial Agreement may prevent one party from receiving a substantial share of their partner’s family fortune, life savings or inheritance.

Some reasons why people use a prenup include:

  • To protect an inheritance during divorce
  • To ringfence assets/finances from before the marriage
  • To safeguard finances for children from previous marriages

In some cases, a prenup is seen as a way to demonstrate that a marriage is for love, and not for money.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement should be entered into willingly by both parties, and not due to coercion by either individual. Marcia Mediation’s prenup mediators can help you to work through any initial conflicts to ensure that all parties are satisfied with the arrangement.

Read more about our financial mediation here.

What is Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is literally an ‘agreement before marriage’ from the Latin word ‘nuptialis’, which meant anything marriage-related.

We still sometimes refer to marriage and weddings as ‘nuptials’ but on the whole, ‘pre-nuptial’ has taken on a very specific meaning for the agreement drawn up before a wedding or civil partnership ceremony takes place.

Prenup mediation refers specifically to this type of agreement too. However, if you are trying to resolve any other pre-marriage doubts or disputes, Marcia Mediation’s prenup mediators may be able to help.

You may also hear about Post-Nuptial Agreements. As the name suggests, these are arrangements made after the ceremony has already taken place.

In general, it’s a good idea to draw up a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before getting married. Post-Nuptial Agreements are mainly used if your circumstances change after marriage (e.g. if one partner receives a substantial and unexpected inheritance).

The Benefits of Mediation for Prenups

If you’re thinking about drawing up a Pre-Nuptial Agreement ahead of your wedding or civil partnership ceremony, you might be looking into options such as prenup mediation vs. legal advice from solicitors.

Prenup mediation, like all family mediation, is designed to help you make progress, to avoid stress and upset, and to achieve a better outcome for all parties.

Some of the clearest benefits of this include:

  • Faster time to reach a final Pre-Nuptial Agreement
  • Less costly than taking legal advice from solicitors
  • Unbiased, open-minded guidance from your prenup mediator

Using prenup mediation does not prevent you from speaking to a solicitor. If you want to take your finalised Pre-Nuptial Agreement to your solicitor for legal advice, you can.

Marcia Mediation have well-established relationships with local solicitors: we’re all part of the same support network for our clients, and we all want the best outcome for you.

What Can’t be Included in a Prenup?

Prenup mediation can help you to agree on the details of your Pre-Nuptial Agreement, but there are still some limitations that apply because of the way prenups are treated in UK law.

In England, prenups are still not considered legally binding (although in Scotland, a correctly created prenup can be enforced in court). As long as the terms of your prenup are reasonable though, a judge in England will typically enforce them. So it’s worth getting the help of a prenup mediator when deciding what to include.

Keep in mind that you can’t use a prenup to severely impact on the welfare of either party or their dependants. A judge may overrule your prenup, if it would leave one partner or their children in poverty.

If you’re not sure whether the terms of your prenup will be acceptable, contact Marcia Mediation. Our prenup mediators will be happy to give an independent, unbiased opinion and if necessary, help you to adjust your prenup to make it more likely to be enforced by a judge.

Prenup Mediation Summarised

Pre-Nuptial Agreement mediation is an important part of the process of drawing up a prenup that meets the following crucial criteria:

• Mutually acceptable to all affected parties
• Worded in an appropriate way
• Likely to be enforced by a judge

This is in addition to the usual benefits of family mediation already mentioned above:

• Faster than the alternatives
• Less costly than legal advice
• Fair treatment for all parties

All of this together adds up to a low-stress, supportive process with improved outcomes (and remember, prenup mediation doesn’t stop you from speaking to a solicitor too).

If you’re in a long-term relationship and think you would be happier with a prenup in place ahead of your civil partnership or marriage, contact Marcia Mediation today and a member of our team will be happy to help.

Older couple listening and smiling

Meet Marcia

A pioneer for mediation since commencing legal practice as a family solicitor some seventeen years ago, Marcia has worked exclusively as an independent mediator since 2004, focussing initially on family mediation, and latterly on work place mediation.

Marcia’s accreditations include Family Mediation and she is a qualified child consultant practitioner. Her associations include the Professional Mediators Association and Resolution.

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