March 1, 2021/by Lesley Friedland and the FamilyKind Team
FamilyKind to begin Mediating Prenuptial Agreements and Pre-cohabitation Agreements
By Amy Carron Day, Esq., Day Law and Mediation
FamilyKind’s mission has focused on reducing conflict for families and children throughout the process of separation and divorce. What if we could assist families far earlier in their relationships – even before couples move into a home together or get married — potentially increasing harmony during their relationship? To that end, FamilyKind will begin offering mediation to help couples who want to create a prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement, The goal is to create more open discussion around both exciting and difficult issues they will face, thereby reducing the risk of conflict and divorce in the future.
Everyone could benefit from prenuptial or pre-cohabitation services
Typically, prenuptial agreements are thought to be for the very wealthy, those marrying a second time – especially if they have children, a business and/or significant assets they wish to “protect”. While FamilyKind would be pleased to provide agreements for such “typical” couples, we are also hoping to help many other couples who could benefit from prenuptial or pre-cohabitation planning. For example:
A couple purchasing a co-op apartment together, can use FamilyKind’s new service to plan the financial details of purchasing the apartment, pay for the apartment while they live together and resolve their arrangement if they decided to either terminate their relationship or get married.
A couple about to marry, who wants to define “separate property” and “marital property” during their marriage differently than NY law may provide, could be helped. For example, they can designate that their earned income be held in separate accounts during the marriage and be considered “separate property” if they ever terminate their relationship.
A couple who is entering into a marriage with extremely unequal assets and/or earning potential might wish to find creative ways of balancing their contributions during the marriage to create more harmony going forward.
Mediation is a more effective process for prenups and pre-cohabitation agreements
The traditional process for negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements tends to occur in this manner: The fiancé with more financial resources consults with an attorney who drafts a prenuptial agreement to begin the negotiations. The draft is often extremely one-sided and legally quite aggressive. Often not fully understanding the agreement, the client presents the draft to his or her fiancé, and then the fiancé brings the draft to an attorney to review it. The fiancé’s attorney then highlights the aggressive nature of the agreement. This often causes conflict between the couple, when they should be happily planning their wedding. This is not a good recipe for success.
In a more collaborative and agreeable process, mediation allows the couple to discuss what they envision for their lives together and potentially how to translate those wishes into a signed agreement, if the parties so choose. The mediator is skilled at helping the couple uncover their underlying feelings about important issues they need to resolve while going forward together. The mediation process helps them come together in mutual understanding to find the best solutions for their lives and in the process the couples learns important negotiation skills to use during the marriage. By working with couples before they cohabitate or embark on a marriage, FamilyKind’s mediation services can help them have a greater chance of success for their happily ever after.
To learn more about FamilyKind’s services, please call 212-769-3057 or email info@FamilyKind.org.
“Daniel” and “Sophie” are composite characters not meant to represent any specific couple.
Upcoming FamilyKind Happenings
SAVE THE DATE: March 15, 1 pm: Peer-to-Peer Webinar
Mediating a Prenuptial or Cohabitation Agreement can be more positive than you thought
Just the idea of signing a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement is daunting for most couples. But it can be a positive experience to help couples communicate and plan for success in their relationship, not just as “insurance” for a potential break-up. Mediating and agreeing upon the terms in an open and honest manner before an attorney drafts a contract is a much more peaceful process.
Our speakers will discuss:
Who could benefit from a Prenuptial Agreement or a Cohabitation Agreement, and why it isn’t only the wealthy entering into second marriages;
What are the benefits of having money/financial conversations prior to cohabitation or marriage?
What tends to be wrong with the typical process of drafting a prenuptial agreement and how we can improve the process for clients;
Why mediation, and negotiating terms before drafting an agreement, is so effective in building more balanced agreements and peaceful relationships going forward.
Why using financial neutrals and trusts & estates attorney collaboratively can make all the difference.
Thursday, March 11, FamilyKind’s 9th Annual Awards Benefit & Virtual Symposium
Join family law leaders from around the world as they address their region’s adaptations to support families through separation and divorce during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Distinguished faculty include:
For the Symposium, CLEs are pending and contact hours for social workers will be offered.
Following the Symposium, we are proud to present our Awards Benefit from 5:45 pm to 6:30 pm in which we will honor Hon. Jacqueline Silbermann (Retired) and Philip Katz, Esq., and Hon. Evelyn Frazee, J.S.C. (Retired). The evening will also include world class entertainment. For more information and to register, please click here.
Sign Up for Our Online Parenting Class for Divorcing or Separating Parents (Court Approved!)
During COVID 19, parents ,needing court-approved parenting education for divorcing and separating families, can take the online version of our class. This 4.5-hour class is approved by the Office of Court Administration and satisfies all New York State court mandates of parents experiencing divorce, separation or are unmarried co-parents. The link to register for the class is https://www.nyparentingclass.com/.
Parents have 30 days from the time they register to complete the class and may review any portions they desire. For more information, contact email@example.com or call 212-769-3057. Here is what parents who take FamilyKind’s online classes say:
“I learned some specific skills that will help me better communicate with my co-parent.”
“I am confident that I can use these skills to improve the relationship with my co-parent.”
“I learned something new about how my children are affected by conflict.”
Save The Date: Upcoming Zoom 7-session Parenting Education Classes for parents of 3-14 year olds
Parenting when Divorced or Unmarried, Co-parenting and Blended Family Parents Tuesdays (7-8 PM EST) $35 per household – starting April 6th
Parenting Class in Spanish: Saturday mornings 9:30-10:30 EST ($35 per household) – starting April 10th
Each zoom class will adapt the nationally recognized programs, “Systematic Training for Effective Parenting” and “The Strengthening Families Program 10-14”.