How much does a Pennsylvania postnuptial agreement cost? Many couples ask this question after they get married in Pennsylvania. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about postnuptial agreements and how they can protect your assets.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost in Pennsylvania?
Postnuptial agreements, often called post marital agreements, are legally binding contracts entered into by couples after getting married. A postnuptial agreement is a tool used by married couples to plan out their financial futures and protect their assets in the event their marriage ends in divorce or either spouse dies.
Hiring an attorney to draft a post marital agreement is highly encouraged. A lawyer has the specialized knowledge to ensure this document is drafted correctly and will be enforceable in court.
Before beginning the contract drafting process, many couples want to know how much a postnuptial agreement will cost. Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement in Pennsylvania is $787.50.
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- District of Columbia
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Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania divorce court, judges must follow the rules of equitable distribution. This means that marital assets will not be divided 50/50, but distributed to each spouse in a way that the court deems fair.
Some factors that Pennsylvania courts will use to determine equitable distribution include:
- Length of the marriage
- Age and health of both spouses
- Education and earning potential of both spouses
- Income at the time of the divorce
- Amount of non-marital assets each party has
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Whether either party is the sole caretaker of a minor child
Courts may also take into consideration whether one spouse helped the advancement of the other’s career. For example, if one spouse quit their job to raise children while the other spouse pursued their career, courts may award the non-working spouse certain assets, like the family home, even if they did not financially contribute to those assets.
To avoid allowing the court to make these impactful decisions, many couples choose to execute a postnuptial agreement to ensure all property is divided in a way that works for their family.
What's Typically Included in a Pennsylvania Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements in Pennsylvania will vary based on the couple's assets, debts, and future plans. Most postnuptial agreements include the following provisions:
- Financial disclosure. Each spouse is required to submit a full financial disclosure of all their assets and debts. This includes both separate property obtained before the marriage and assets obtained during the marriage. If either spouse fails to disclose all property, the postnuptial agreement could be ruled invalid in court.
- Property division. A detailed description of how the couple wishes property to be distributed in the event of a divorce.
- Debt liability. Provisions dictating which spouse is responsible for certain debts. This is especially important if either spouse entered the marriage with a high amount of debt.
- Spousal support. In many divorces, a lower earning spouse may be entitled to alimony payments from the higher earning spouse. A postnuptial agreement can waive these rights or set a limit on the payment amount.
- Inheritance. While inheritance is typically separate property, this provision is especially important if either spouse has a child from a previous relationship. A postnuptial agreement can ensure that a spouse’s children have rights to their assets if they die.
If a couple has minor children, they can include issues like child support and child custody in the marital agreement. However, courts will reserve the right to modify these provisions to ensure the best interests of the child are met.
Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable in Pennsylvania?
Yes. In Pennsylvania postnuptial agreements are enforceable if the agreement is drafted correctly and adheres to all applicable Pennsylvania laws.
A few reasons that a marital agreement will not be enforced include:
- The agreement is not in writing. Pennsylvania marital agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. Oral prenuptial agreements will not be enforced.
- The agreement was not signed voluntarily. If there is any evidence that the agreement was signed under duress, coercion, or fraud, it will not be enforceable.
- The agreement is unconscionable. Agreements are determined to be unconscionable if a spouse fails to disclose their finances and the other spouse did not have adequate knowledge of the undisclosed finances.
- Terms cannot be decided by a marital agreement. Some issues cannot be decided by a marital agreement and must be decided by a judge in court. For example, a marital agreement cannot waive child support for either spouse.
Pennsylvania Postnuptial Agreement Projects
Postnuptial Agreement Drafting in Pennsylvania
It is legal and possible to create a postnuptial agreement without a lawyer, however this is strongly discouraged. A postnuptial agreement can have lasting financial consequences and it is essential that this contract is drafted correctly.
A family law attorney who is familiar with marital agreements will draft a comprehensive contract that protects each spouses' assets, adheres to Pennsylvania law, and will be legally enforceable in court if a divorce should occur.
Postnuptial Agreement Review in Pennsylvania
If a couple does choose to create their own postnuptial agreement, it is recommended that they consult with a lawyer for contract review before executing the agreement.
A lawyer who provides document review services will ensure that the contract is legally binding. They can also identify blind spots and loopholes in the contract that could have legal consequences down the road.
Pennsylvania Postnuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
Hiring an attorney in Pennsylvania to draft a postnuptial agreement will come with legal fees. Drafting contracts requires the time and legal skill of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average postnuptial agreement drafting costs in Pennsylvania are $1,075.00.
Pennsylvania Postnuptial Agreement Review Cost
Document review services will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will take their time going of the contract and making edits as necessary.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average postnuptial agreement review costs in Pennsylvania are $500.00.
How Do Pennsylvania Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Hourly rate fee structures are the most common ways that family law attorneys charge their clients. Under this 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 family lawyer in Pennsylvania ranges from $200 - $300 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like drafting a marital agreement, they may charge their client using a flat fee. Instead of tracking hours, the lawyer will estimate the total time the project will take, and the client will pay the full price upfront.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a postnuptial agreement in Pennsylvania is $787.50.
Get Help with a Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.