Prenuptial Mediation Santa Barbara

While most people enter into marriages expecting to stay together in wedded bliss forever, the sad truth is that all marriages end, either by divorce or by the death of a spouse. What many people don’t realize that the State of California “gives” everyone a prenup, whether they like it or not. That is to say, the very act of getting married creates legal rights and obligations. In the absence of an agreement, if the parties later separate and divorce, California imposes rules for the division of property and for spousal support (“alimony”); if one spouse dies, in the absence of a Will or Trust, California has rules about what the survivor inherits. If this is a second or third marriage and you bring children into the relationship, things can get complicated.

The State rules may be fine for you, or you may not like all or some of them. Even if you like the California rules, California may not always be your home, and other states or countries may have different laws. With a prenuptial agreement, you can make your own rules about community and separate property, responsibility for each other’s debts, responsibility to support each other if you separate, what you will inherit from your spouse, and you can protect your prior children’s inheritances.  

There’s no worse buzz kill than having your beloved present you with an iron-clad prenup drafted by his/her family’s attorney weeks before the wedding. It's far better to plan ahead and use mediation to work through these thorny issues. I understand that these are difficult conversations to have, especially with the excitement of a wedding coming up, and perhaps pressure from family members. I will facilitate the discussion with sensitivity and empathy so that all of the issues get settled in a respectful way and you can come away with a durable agreement that addresses your concerns and is tailored to your needs and expectations in the marriage.  Even if you decide not to sign a prenup, you will have had the opportunity to discuss all of these issues in a supportive environment, and will come away with clear expectations and an understanding of your soon-to-be-spouse's point of view.

Testimonials

Robin Masson has done a fantastic job as an attorney for my husband Brian and me on several occasions. She took the time to research the cases that she was working on for us, and acted appropriately on our behalf, resulting in a favorable outcome. We would definitely hire Robin again, and recommend her highly.
Terry Mingle

Articles

Negotiate in Mediation for What You Need -- And Get It.

Negotiate in Mediation for What You Need -- And Get It.
By Robin Masson on Jul 22, 2017 in Divorce Mediation

Face it: most of us are not very good at asking others for what we need. We tend to come off as either too aggressive or wishy-washy. Moreover, when we’re in conflict, our asking skills tend to deteriorate into either demanding bitchiness or passive-aggressiveness that descends into resentment. Not a good look, on anyone.

But, there’s a way to ask for what you need and to enlist others in giving it to you, by being respectfully assertive. It requires communicating clearly what your needs are, how others’ behavior affects you, and enlists others in satisfying your needs.

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Cohabitation Mediation - What I Wish I'd Known Before Moving in Together

Cohabitation Mediation - What I Wish I'd Known Before Moving in Together
By Robin Masson on Jun 09, 2017 in Cohabitation Mediation

Much less planning goes into cohabitation than into a wedding, but it is, in many ways, a bigger legal, financial and emotional step.

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Divorce Mediation - The Orange: A Parable About Interest-Based Negotiation

Divorce Mediation - The Orange: A Parable About Interest-Based Negotiation
By Robin Masson on Jun 01, 2017 in Divorce Mediation

Nick and Nora were separating and couldn’t agree upon who should get the orange. Since there was only one orange, it appeared that the “fair” solution (and the one most likely to be imposed if they were in court) would be for them to slice it in half, and each would get half an orange.

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