How much does a Maryland postnuptial agreement cost? This is a common question asked by married couples in Maryland. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about postnuptial agreements and how they can protect you and your spouse’s assets.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost in Maryland?
A prenuptial agreement, also called a post marital agreement, is a contract that a couple executes after getting married. A postnuptial agreement is a way for couples to plan how their marital assets and liabilities will be distributed if the marriage ends in divorce.
It is common for a couple to hire an attorney to draft their marital agreement. Postnuptial agreements are legally binding contracts that can have drastic effects on a couple’s financial future. A lawyer will know how to draft an agreement that is fair, abides by all state laws, and is enforceable.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement in Maryland is $761.81.
See Postnuptial Agreement Pricing by State
- District of Columbia
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Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement in Maryland?
Many people believe that marital agreements are only useful for wealthy spouses or those with a lot of assets. However, there are many reasons that a couple may need a postnuptial agreement.
Some common reasons a couple may execute a postnuptial agreement include:
- Avoid arguments over money. Finances are one of the most common issues that couples argue over. A postnuptial agreement allows a couple to agree how finances will be handled throughout the marriage and then divided in the case of a divorce.
- Prior divorce. If either spouse has gone through a divorce, they will have firsthand experience of how stressful and emotionally charged the process can be. A prior marriage may have also left a spouse with additional financial obligations that could affect the current marriage. A postnuptial agreement allows spouses to handle the hardest parts of divorce before the breakdown of the relationship.
- Children from previous relationships. If either spouse has children from a prior relationship, a postnuptial agreement will allow the parents to ensure their child has rights to inheritance and assets in the event the parents dies.
- Large amounts of debt. When a spouse enters a marriage with a large amount of debt, like student loans for example, a postnuptial agreement can protect the other spouse from potentially being held responsible for that debt in an equitable distribution divorce.
- You have previously discussed divorce. It is common for couples to discuss divorce or even separate before a divorce is finalized. If spouses have considered divorce in the past and then reconciled, it may be useful to execute a postnuptial agreement. This allows the couple to calmly discuss their financial futures before deciding to end the marriage.
What's Typically Included in a Maryland Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements can be customized based on the needs of the spouses and the different types of assets or liabilities they possess. It is common to see the following items addressed in a post marital agreement:
- Full disclosure of each spouses’ assets and liabilities
- Spousal support rights, amount to be paid, and duration of payments
- Allocation of property if one spouse dies
- Life insurance policy and beneficiary information
- How retirement benefits will be allocated
Couples with children usually include provisions about child support and custody. While a court can take the parent’s wishes into consideration, the court has the ability to modify any custody or support terms to ensure that it is in the best interest of the child.
Are Postnuptial Enforceable in Maryland?
Yes. Maryland postnuptial agreements will be enforced in court as long as they abide by the laws set out in the Family Law section of the Maryland code and meet certain legal requirements including:
- The agreement is in writing
- It is signed by both spouses
- It has been signed voluntarily free from threat, coercion, duress, or fraud
- The agreement is not unconscionable
- Both spouses have provided complete financial disclosures or a waiver of the right to disclosure
If the postnuptial agreement doesn’t meet these legal standards, it will be void and unenforceable in court. In the event a marital agreement is found to be void, the spouses will be subject to the state’s equitable property distribution laws and a judge will determine how to equitably distribute all marital property in a divorce.
Maryland Postnuptial Agreement Projects
Postnuptial Agreement Drafting in Maryland
Hiring an attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement is recommended because a lawyer will be familiar with Maryland contract law and know what can and cannot be included and enforced in a Maryland marital agreement.
Before drafting a postnuptial agreement, the lawyer will consult with the couple to learn about their assets, debts, and future plans. The attorney will then draft an agreement that implements these terms.
Postnuptial Agreement Review in Maryland
In some cases, it is beneficial for each spouse to be represented by their own attorney when executing a marital agreement. This means that one spouse’s attorney will draft the agreement, and the other spouse’s attorney will review it.
The reviewing attorney will read through the agreement to ensure that it is fair, their client fully understands the terms and conditions, and the agreement has their clients’ best interests in mind.
Maryland Postnuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
When hiring a lawyer to draft a postnuptial agreement, spouses can expect to incur legal fees because drafting a contract of any kind requires the time and legal expertise of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average postnuptial agreement drafting costs in Maryland are $1,075.00.
Maryland Postnuptial Agreement Review Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a postnuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. Even though the attorney isn’t drafting the document, they will still take their time reading over the contract and advising their client about the contents.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average postnuptial agreement review costs in Maryland are $414.14.
How Do Maryland Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Family law attorneys in Maryland typically charge their clients using an hourly rate fee structure. With this fee agreement, a lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for time spent working on drafting the marital contract.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer in Maryland ranges from $200 - $300 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Flat fee rates are commonly used when a lawyer is hired for a specific task like drafting or reviewing a postnuptial agreement. In a flat fee payment structure, an attorney will charge the client a flat fee price for the entire legal project.
It is important that a client fully understands what legal services are included in a flat fee rate agreement. Revisions, meetings, or negotiations could incur additional legal fees.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a postnuptial agreement in Maryland is $761.81.
Get Help with a Georgia Postnuptial Agreement
Do you need help with a postnuptial 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 Maryland 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.