How much does an Illinois prenuptial agreement cost? This a common question that couples planning to get married in Illinois often ask. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and why they are important.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost in Illinois?
Prenuptial agreements, sometimes called “prenups”, are legally binding contracts that couples execute before getting married. These documents are the best way for couples to protect their assets and property prior to getting married.
It is strongly encouraged that a couple hires an experienced attorney to draft their prenuptial agreement. Prenups are legally binding documents that must include specific information and abide by Illinois laws. A lawyer will know how to draft a prenup that is legally enforceable.
Before hiring an attorney and beginning the prenup process, many people want to know how much this will all cost. Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Illinois is $748.00.
Why Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois?
In Illinois, divorce courts follow the rules of “equitable distribution”. This means that if left up to the court’s decision, property will NOT be divided 50/50 but rather by each party’s situation and needs as determined by the court.
If a couple doesn’t have a prenuptial agreement and at the time of the divorce cannot come to an agreement, their financial futures will be in the hands of the court system.
Many people do not like the idea of a court dividing their property so to protect their property and futures, they execute a prenuptial agreement. This way, if a divorce does happen, all decisions regarding property distribution are settled and it is one less thing a couple needs to worry about.
What's Typically Included in an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement
Every prenuptial agreement will be different and personalized to the couple’s assets, debts, and wishes. Illinois has adopted the rules of the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA) so their laws governing prenups are largely dictated by the UPAA.
The UPAA lists the issues that may be covered in a prenup. Some of these issues include:
- Pre-marital property. A prenup will list all of the pre-marital property and debts belonging to each person. After a divorce, each person will retain the rights to their premarital property and debts.
- Marital assets. Marital assets are assets that a couple will acquire throughout their marriage like houses, property, vehicles, or furniture. The prenup should include a plan of how these types of items will be divided in a divorce.
- Property rights. How marital property can be used during the marriage, for example- who has the right to sell, lease, or invest using marital assets.
- Life insurance. Whether either spouse will have life insurance and what happens to the policy in the event of a death or divorce
- Spousal support. If either spouse will be required to pay the other spouse alimony and how much the amount will be.
- Pets. Who will take custody of shared pets
- State law. Which state’s law govern the agreement
Illinois, like many other states, does not allow a prenuptial agreement to include terms regarding child custody or support. The state believes that the right to child support belongs to the child and the parents cannot take those rights away from the child.
Child custody is determined based on what arrangement is in best interest of the child. This can change and must be decided at the time of the divorce and cannot be predetermined in a prenup.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Many couples avoid talking about prenups because no one wants to talk about divorce before they even walk down the aisle, however; prenuptial agreements provide couples with many benefits including:
- Asset protection
- Future financial stability
- A customized plan to distribute assets in a divorce
- Avoidance of a typical divorce settlement
- Peace of mind knowing that financial matters are settled
- Savings on attorney’s fees in a divorce
The most commonly disputed issue in a divorce is finances. With a prenup in place, the decisions about property division are already made and this common dispute is automatically settled. This saves a couple from the additional stress and financial burden of litigation.
Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Projects
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting in Illinois
It is always recommended that a couple hires a knowledgeable attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. A lawyer familiar with Illinois law will know what can and cannot be included and enforced in an Illinois prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreement drafting usually involves a consultation with the couple and once the attorney has all the information he needs, he can begin drafting the prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial Agreement Review in Illinois
In some cases, a couple may have an existing prenup or they have drafted their own prenup from a template. While this works sometimes, it is important to understand that each state has different laws governing prenups and the template may not cover those state specific laws.
Before executing a prenup, couples are encouraged to have the document reviewed by a licensed attorney. The attorney will ensure that the contract is fair, follows all applicable Illinois laws, and will be enforceable in court in the event of a divorce.
Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
If a couple hires an attorney to draft their prenuptial agreement, they will incur legal fees. Drafting contracts requires the time and legal skill of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average prenuptial agreement drafting costs in Illinois are $780.00.
Illinois Prenuptial Agreement Review Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a prenuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will take their time going of the contract and adjusting as necessary.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs in Illinois are $700.00.
How Do Illinois Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
Most Illinois family law attorneys use an hourly rate to charge their clients. Under an hourly rate fee agreement, the lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for time spent working on the case or project.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Illinois ranges from $250 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like drafting a prenup, they may opt to charge a client a flat fee rate instead of keeping track of hours.
In a flat fee payment structure, attorneys will provide the client a flat fee price for the entirety of the legal project. This often includes a consultation, drafting or review, and edits, but the client should double check exactly what services the flat rate includes.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in Illinois is $748.00.
Get Help with an Illinois Prenuptial Agreement
Do you need help with a prenuptial agreement project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family lawyers who are licensed to practice law in Illinois 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.