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.


As a financial planner with a focus on trust and estate planning, I find that clients I have referred to Robin are very satisfied with her ability to listen and develop plans that meet their needs. This together with prompt action on their documents allows me to give a very strong recommendation for her.
Robert Jewell, Trust Officer
Community Bank, N.A.

Loading Loading...