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Mediation and Post-Nuptial Agreements


Mediation is an option for couples considering a Post-Nuptial Agreement. We’ve heard of Prenuptial Agreements. A prenup is an agreement couples enter into before marriage. The prenup spells out what happens in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial will contain language about division of assets, alimony and usually each party will keep the assets they came into the marriage with. But what is a post-nuptial agreement?

A Connecticut Post-Nuptial Agreement is a binding contract between spouses about rights to marital property should their marriage end in divorce or death. Couples enter into post-nuptial agreements after they are married. Similar to a prenup, the post-nuptial contains an agreement about what they will do with their assets if they divorce. Many couples come into a marriage with very little so there is less need for a prenuptial agreement. During the marriage spouses can accumulate significant wealth and incomes increase so a post-nuptial is appropriate.


The intent of both  a prenuptial and a post-nuptial agreement is for the couple to decide ahead of time how they will handle divorce. People are not at their best emotionally or logically when they are divorcing. People choose to have these difficult discussions when they are still in love and thinking clearer rather than when the relationship is ending and they are stressed with a pending divorce.


When couples are deciding to divorce they ask – should we mediate or litigate? Should we use one impartial third party to work with us or each have our own lawyer. Generally, one attorney prepares the agreement. The agreement goes to the other attorney to review with the other spouse. Then the agreement goes back and forth with changes and revisions until the husband and wife agree on the language and ready to sign. It is costly using two separate lawyers during the negotiations. Using an impartial mediator to help you negotiate the terms of your post-nuptial agreement directly with your spouse will speed up the process and reduce costs.


Just like when you mediate a divorce or legal separation you always want to consult an attorney before signing any legal document including a post-nuptial agreement. Having a consultation with an attorney looking out for your interests is required. But you still save time and money using an attorney just for a final review rather than during the whole negotiation process.

A court will only enforce a post-nuptial agreement if the terms of the agreement are both fair and equitable at the time you signed it and not found to be unconscionable or one-sided at the time of the divorce.

  • The agreement is made voluntarily.
  • The agreement is made without any undue influence, fraud, coercion, or duress.
  • Each spouse has been given full, fair, and reasonable disclosure of the amount, character, and value of their assets, jointly and separately held, and all of the financial obligations and income of the other spouse. Mandatory disclosure is a requirement.

During divorce negotiations, each spouse says they want what is fair. But spouses often disagree on the definition of fair.  A divorce mediator will help couples focus on each other’s needs and concerns, and the fairness of the process. A mediator will suggest looking at the big picture rather solely individual interests. The post-nuptial agreement, like a divorce agreement, must be found fair and equitable by the court. A mediator will help the couple focus on all the facts and circumstances of the marriage, their assets, and their intent to ensure the agreement is fair and equitable and enforceable by the court.

When deciding if a post-nuptial is fair and equitable, a court may consider various factors. A judge will look at the nature and complexity of the agreement’s terms. The extent of and disparity in assets brought to the marriage by each spouse will also be considered. The parties’ ability to read and understand the terms of the agreement is a factor. Also, important are the amount of time each spouse had to review the agreement and the spouse’s access to an attorney before they signed the final post-nuptial agreement.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce lawyer, family law attorney, or divorce mediator about a divorce or a post-nuptial agreement, please contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or via email at We offer free consultations to discuss any divorce or family law related matter.

Divorce Mediation Keeps You In Control

There is more to divorce mediation than just saving time and money. With mediation spouses remain in control of their divorce process. Mediation is empowering and reduces fear and stress. Spouses work together, not through separate lawyers and make their own decisions not the mediator or a judge. The couple controls the outcome and decides on the terms of their divorce settlement.  

Mediation Levels the Playing Field

People enter mediation considering themselves less knowledgeable and the “weaker” spouse especially about finances. Mediation empowers both parties so they can make informed decisions together. Parties have the same information and knowledge. If one spouse is more financially savvy, or has a stronger personality, the other spouse can be intimidated. When this happens, the spouse does not participate to the fullest during mediation. A mediator helps maintain balance and ensures both spouses fully participate. Mutual respect and open communication are important for a successful mediation. One party might act inappropriately, disrespectful, or try to dominate the mediation session. A mediator will talk to the spouse separately. If the behavior continues, the mediation process generally ends.

Independent Attorneys are Advised

The best mediation client is an informed and educated client. An effective divorce mediator strongly encourages the client to meet with an independent attorney. An attorney will provide each spouse with independent legal advice. Many choose to meet with an attorney only at the end of the mediation process to review the agreement. Some spouses meet with an attorney only at the beginning of the mediation process. Often couples choose not to meet with an attorney because they have fully participated and understand the agreement. The couple is free to make their own decision about whether to meet with an attorney. Meeting with an attorney is important if you still have questions and concerns at the end of the mediation process.

Using an Attorney Mediator Is Beneficial

If your mediator is also an attorney, they will help prepare and file the legal paperwork. This includes starting the divorce or legal separation. An attorney mediator prepares the financial affidavits, calculates child support, when applicable, and drafts your divorce agreement. It is best to work with an attorney mediator who has legal expertise in divorce and family law. The mediator is also responsible for creating a safe and comfortable environment. Helping both spouses feel comfortable means they will be open and communicate effectively. Divorce is emotionally charged and discussions can become heated. A mediator helps both spouses focus on the future and create an agreement they can live with.This avoids going to court and hoping for a good outcome.When spouses make their own decisions about parenting and dividing their assets, there is a better chance the focus will be on the entire family and the best interests of the children.

Mediated Divorces Stand the Test of Time

Mediated agreements have a higher rate of parental cooperation and fewer costs associated with post-divorce litigation. Mediation helps parties create their own agreements rather than have a judge make decisions they may not like. Divorced couples often return to court because one spouse is not complying with court orders imposed upon them by a judge.

Although the mediator cannot give legal advice, they can provide information about the legal system, how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges, and what alternatives there are for solving issues.The mediator will continually remind the spouses of things that they both need to consider in the decision-making process and to focus on the family and the future.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce attorney, divorce mediator, or one of our other skilled professionals, please don’t hesitate to contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221 – 3100 or via email at Our firm offers free consultations in person or video conference to discuss your divorce, divorce mediation, or other family law matter.