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District of Columbia Prenuptial Agreement Cost

Updated: December 18, 2023
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How much does a prenuptial agreement cost in the District of Columbia? This is a common question that couples when they are preparing to get married in the DC area. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and the legal requirements for this marital contract.

How Much Does a Prenup Cost in the District of Columbia?

A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a “ prenup ”, is a legally binding contract executed prior to a couple getting married. The purpose of a prenup is to outline how the spouses will manage their assets, debts, properties, and other finances in the event of a divorce.

The cost of a prenuptial agreement will vary based on several factors like:

  • The time required to draft the contract
  • The complexity of the terms
  • The lawyer’s experience or expertise
  • Any additional work required like renegotiation or revisions

Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in the District of Columbia is $700.00.

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What's Typically Included in a District of Columbia Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are very personalized contracts, and the contents will be unique to each couple. The exact terms of the agreement will depend on the couple’s goals and financial situation.

Typically, a basic prenuptial agreement will include the following provisions:

  • Premarital assets. A list of each partner’s assets acquired before the marriage.
  • Premarital debts. A list of all debts or liabilities acquired before the marriage.
  • Property division. How property, assets, and debts acquired before and during the marriage will be divided in the event of divorce or separation.
  • Spousal support. Whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other and, if so, the amount, duration, and under what conditions.
  • Financial responsibilities. How financial responsibilities during the marriage, like payment of bills, taxes, and debts, will be managed.
  • Business rights. If one spouse owns a business or has a stake in a family business, this section will dictate how rights to the business will be handled.
  • Inheritance. How inheritance and estate rights will be affected by the agreement.

There are limitations on what can be included in a prenup. In the District of Columbia, terms relating to child support and child custody are not permitted. In addition, the prenup cannot include terms that are illegal, against public policy, or unconscionable.

Quiz: Do I need a prenup?

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Do I Need a Prenup in DC?

Determining whether you need a prenup is a personal choice based on several different factors. A prenuptial agreement is a great financial planning tool and can be appropriate for couples of all financial backgrounds.

You may need a prenup in the following scenarios:

  1. Either spouse has significant assets or debts.
  2. One spouse owns a business or has a stake in a family business that they would like to protect.
  3. There are children from previous relationships that need inheritance rights.
  4. There is a large disparity between the couple’s income.
  5. One spouse agrees to stop working to raise children.

When a couple executes a prenuptial agreement, they have full control over how their property will be divided in a divorce. Without a valid prenup, the court will determine property division in accordance with the District of Columbia’s equitable distribution property laws.

What Voids a Prenup?

A prenup could be void if it is not drafted correctly or does not meet all DC laws and regulations governing prenups.

Some common issues that may void a prenup include:

  • Duress or coercion. A prenup is only valid if both partners enter into the contract voluntarily. Both parties must be given adequate time to meet with a lawyer and review the terms.
  • Failure to disclose. Each partner must completely and honestly disclose their finances before drafting a prenup. If one party conceals assets, debts, or income or fails to provide accurate financial information, the agreement may be void.
  • Unconscionability. A prenup cannot be unfair or one-sided. If a court decides that the terms greatly favor one party over the other, it can void the agreement or modify the terms.

It is always recommended to consult with an experienced DC family law attorney when drafting a prenuptial agreement. A lawyer can provide guidance on how to create a legally sound agreement that will hold up in court.

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Prenuptial Agreement Drafting in District of Columbia

It is advised that a couple hires an attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. An attorney will ensure that the document fits the couple’s needs and includes legally enforceable provisions that protect the financial interests of both parties.

Before beginning a draft, the lawyer will meet with the couple to learn about their goals for the contract. Then, the attorney will draft a comprehensive marital contract that includes provisions to help meet the couple’s goals.

Prenuptial Agreement Review in District of Columbia

Some couples will choose to draft their own prenuptial agreement using a template. This is possible, but they should have the contract reviewed by an attorney before executing the agreement.

A lawyer will ensure that the template used to create the agreement follows all District of Columbia laws and the agreement is valid and legally enforceable. Lawyers are trained to look for issues that may render a contract void like unconscionability or illegal terms.

District of Columbia Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost

When a couple hires a lawyer to draft their prenuptial agreement, they will incur legal fees because drafting a contract requires the time and legal expertise of a licensed lawyer.

According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average District of Columbia prenuptial agreement drafting costs are $890.00.

District of Columbia Prenuptial Agreement Review Cost

Hiring an attorney to review a prenuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will use their legal knowledge of Delaware law to review the contract and ensure it is legally binding.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs in the District of Columbia are $520.00.

How Do District of Columbia Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?

Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements

It is common for lawyers in DC to charge their clients an hourly fee. Under this payment arrangement, the lawyer will track their time spent working on a project then bill the client at a predetermined hourly rate.

The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer in the District of Columbia ranges from $200 - $400 per hour.

Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements

Flat rate fees are typically used for smaller projects or cases, like drafting or reviewing a contract. To determine a flat rate fee, the lawyer will consider the time and effort required for the project, administrative tasks, and any additional costs the lawyer may incur during the case. Based on these factors, the lawyer will calculate a total project cost that the client will need to pay up front.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in the District of Columbia is $700.00.

Get Help with a District of Columbia Prenuptial Agreement

Do you need help with a prenuptial agreement project in the District of Columbia? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family lawyers who are licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.

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