by Leslee J. Newman, CFL-S, Family Law Attorney
- Each premarital partner selects their own Collaborative attorney to represent him or her from the very beginning of the premarital Collaborative Process. You and your Collaborative attorney work together until the premarital agreement is completed and signed.
- Neutral professionals such as a financial planner and/or a Collaborative coach may also be added to your Collaborative team to help you and your partner develop and fully understand your goals as a couple, and the legal and financial ramifications of your decisions.
- Before any drafting takes place, you and your partner are encouraged to express your thoughts and concerns about what you plan to build together as joint property and what you want to maintain as separate property.
- Full disclosure of the property and debts of each premarital partner is exchanged including some verification of each asset and each debt.
- After full discussion, disclosure, and agreement is reached by the premarital couple, the agreement is drafted through the participation of both Collaborative attorneys.
- After the draft of the premarital agreement is completed, the draft is fully discussed and explained to each premarital partner by his or her Collaborative attorney.
- Additional drafts and revisions are encouraged by the Collaborative team until both members of the premarital couple are fully educated and satisfied with your agreement.
- The Collaborative Process takes most of the stress out of the creation of a premarital agreement at a time when you are undergoing the tension and burden of planning your wedding.
- With the premarital agreement completed, you can concentrate on your wedding plans, the joy of your wedding day, and your honeymoon.
- After you are married, if there are any changes you wish to make to your property or financial planning, you can return to any of the members of your Collaborative team for assistance.
- If you should divorce, your premarital agreement should be enforceable by California law because of the guidance of your Collaborative professionals, and the multiple opportunities you each had to discuss, question, and revise your agreement.
- In the event a divorce occus, the Agreement should serve as a roadmap to simplify your divorce, make it move along more quickly and in most cases make it less expensive. Additionally, you may stay in the Collaborative Process for your divorce agreement, with some or all of the original Collaborative professionals assisting you who already know you and your spouse.