How much does a New Jersey prenuptial agreement cost? This a common question asked by couples who are engaged to be married in New Jersey. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and how they can protect you and your spouse’s assets.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost in New Jersey?
Prenuptial agreements, also called antenuptial agreements, premarital agreements, or “prenups”, are legally binding contracts that couples execute before getting married for the purposes of financial planning. While prenups mostly cover how assets and debts will be divided in a divorce, they can also address how finances will be handled throughout the marriage and what happens if one spouse dies.
Hiring an attorney to draft their prenuptial agreement is highly recommended because lawyers are familiar with what terms belong in a prenup and what issues cannot be included. A lawyer can help ensure that your agreement is legally binding and will hold up in court.
When preparing to hire a lawyer, many couples want to know how much a prenuptial agreement will cost. While this number can vary, based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Maryland is $1,200.00.
Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in New Jersey?
Most people believe that only those who are wealthy need a prenup, however this is not necessarily the case. Anyone entering a marriage with assets, debts, a business, or children from a previous relationship can benefit from a well drafted prenuptial agreement.
New Jersey follows the laws of equitable distribution. This means that property attained during a marriage will not be split 50/50 in a divorce. Instead, a family court judge will determine how to divide the property so that it is fair and equitable based on each spouse’s contribution.
While this may work out for some couples, many couples feel the need to have more control over their assets and finances. This is where a prenup comes in. A valid prenuptial agreement will outline a couple’s customized plans for property distribution. As long as the agreement follows all New Jersey laws, it should be honored in a divorce court.
What's Typically Included in a New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement
The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to protect the assets of each spouse. Assets can include real property, investment accounts, business assets, trusts, retirement benefits and foreign assets. Most prenups will include terms and conditions surrounding asset ownership and distribution.
It is common to find the following issued addressed in a New Jersey prenup:
- List of each person’s premarital assets
- List of each person’s premarital debts
- The rights and obligations of each spouse regarding all assets and debts no matter when they were acquired or where the assets are located
- Spousal support rights and amounts
- Allocation of property if a spouse dies
- Life insurance policy and beneficiary information
- Terms requiring each party to have a valid will that facilitates the terms of the prenup
- Which state laws will govern the prenup
Prenups are customizable contracts, and couples can add any additional terms and conditions as long as they do not violate New Jersey laws or public policy.
Are Prenups Enforceable in New Jersey?
For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must adhere to all of the terms governing prenups under New Jersey law. A valid prenup will meet the follow requirements:
- The prenup must be in writing; oral prenups are not enforceable
- The agreement must be executed before the marriage
- Each spouse must provide full financial disclosure including all assets, debts, possessions, and income information
- The agreement must be notarized
- The agreement must be fair
- The agreement must be signed voluntarily free from coercion, duress, manipulation, or deceit
- Both parties must be provided sufficient time to review the agreement
The enforceability of a prenup is limited to certain issues. For example, terms about child support or custody will not be enforceable. Child related provisions go against public policy and must be determined at the time of the divorce.
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting in New Jersey
Hiring an attorney to draft a prenup is highly recommended because a lawyer will be familiar with New Jersey law and know what can and cannot be included and enforced in a Maryland prenuptial agreement.
Before drafting a prenuptial 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.
Prenuptial Agreement Review in Maryland
Some couples choose to draft their own prenuptial agreement and have it notarized without the help of an attorney. While this is an option, having a lawyer review the document ensures that it follows all New Jersey laws and that it will hold up in court.
A lawyer can also assist a couple in understanding all the terms of the contract and what rights, if any, they may be surrendering. Under New Jersey law, couples must have sufficient time to review the agreement or the agreement could be overturned in court. Consulting with an attorney for document review provides that time and a better understanding of the agreement.
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
When hiring a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement, you can expect to incur legal fees. Drafting contracts takes the time, knowledge, and legal expertise of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average prenuptial agreement drafting costs in New Jersey are $1,200.00.
New Jersey Prenuptial Agreement Review Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a prenuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. Even though the attorney isn’t drafting the document, they will still use their time and legal knowledge to read the contract and advise clients about the agreement.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs in New Jersey are $500.00.
How Do New Jersey Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
Family law attorneys in New Jersey 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 prenup.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer in New Jersey ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
Flat fee rates are commonly used when a lawyer is hired for a specific task like drafting or reviewing a prenuptial agreement. In a flat fee payment structure, an attorney will charge the client a flat fee price for the entire legal project.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in New Jersey is $1,066.67.
Get Help with a New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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.