As a family law mediator and attorney in San Diego besides divorce cases I also work on many premarital agreements, especially from a mediator’s perspective. A premarital agreement, also known as a prenuptial agreement or a “prenup,” is a legal contract entered into by a couple before they get married or enter a registered domestic partnership. Its purpose is to determine the division of assets, debts, and other matters in the event of a divorce, separation, or death. By working with a mediator, you can ensure that your prenuptial agreement is a document that both you and your future spouse have worked on collaboratively and feel confident about. A few of the common questions I get during consultation with clients are do both parties need mediators, can I write my own prenup and does a prenup need to be notarized? As an experienced premarital mediator and drafter of prenuptial agreements, I will answer these questions below.
Do both parties need mediators?
In San Diego, California, both parties to a premarital agreement do not necessarily need mediators. While it is not a legal requirement to have mediators involved in creating a premarital agreement, it can be beneficial for both parties to seek the assistance of mediators or attorneys to ensure fairness and to help facilitate the negotiation process. Mediators are neutral third parties who help couples communicate and reach agreements on various issues. They can provide guidance, facilitate discussions, and help ensure that both parties’ interests are considered. Having mediators involved can help minimize potential conflicts and ensure that both parties fully understand the terms and implications of the premarital agreement. However, it ultimately depends on the preferences and needs of the individuals involved. Some couples may choose to consult with separate attorneys or work together with a mediator, while others may opt to create the agreement independently.
Can I write my own prenup?
As a prenuptial agreement San Diego mediator, I know that while you can write your own prenup that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should, and it is crucial to ensure that the agreement meets the legal requirements and is enforceable. While I can’t recommend writing your own prenup because I know all the complexities that go into them. Here are some considerations if you choose to write your own prenup and reasons to consider not writing your own prenup.
- Familiarize yourself with the law: Understand the specific legal requirements for prenuptial agreements in your jurisdiction, as these requirements can vary. In San Diego, California, for example, prenuptial agreements must be in writing, signed voluntarily by both parties, and include a full disclosure of assets and debts.
- Seek legal advice: It is highly recommended to consult with a family law attorney or legal professional who is familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. They can provide guidance, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and help protect your interests.
- Full disclosure of assets and debts: A prenuptial agreement requires both parties to disclose all their assets, debts, income, and financial obligations. It is essential to provide accurate and complete information to ensure the agreement’s validity.
- Have individual representation: Each party needs to have their own attorney to review and advise them on the prenuptial agreement. This helps ensure that both parties’ interests are protected, and that the agreement is fair. Additionally in California both parties are required to be represented by individual attorneys.
- Put it in writing: A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties before the marriage or domestic partnership takes place. Make sure to include clear and specific provisions regarding asset division, spousal support, and any other relevant matters.
Does prenup need to be notarized?
A prenuptial agreement does not necessarily need to be notarized to be valid and enforceable. However, notarizing a prenuptial agreement can add an extra layer of authenticity and can be helpful in proving the agreement’s validity in the future. As discussed above in California for a prenup to be legally binding, it must meet certain requirements, which include that it must be in writing, it must be voluntarily signed, and it must include full disclosure. While having a prenup notarized is not a strict requirement in California it can serve as evidence that the parties signed the agreement willingly and in the presence of a notary public, who acts as a neutral third party. Notarization provides an additional level of assurance that the signatures on the agreement are authentic. As an attorney and mediator drafting and reviewing premarital agreements, I always require that my clients have their agreement notarized to provide that extra layer of protection.
by: Amanda Singer