How much does a Pennsylvania prenuptial agreement cost? Many couples ask this question when planning to get married in Pennsylvania. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and how they can protect your assets.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Pennsylvania is $662.50.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost in Pennsylvania?
Prenuptial agreements, often called premarital agreements or just “prenups”, are legally binding contracts entered into by couples before getting married. A prenup agreement is a tool for couples to plan out their financial futures and protect their assets in the event their marriage ends in divorce.
Hiring an attorney to draft a prenup is highly encouraged. A lawyer has the specialized knowledge to ensure this document is drafted correctly and will be enforced in court.
Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Pennsylvania?
Many people believe that prenuptial agreements are only useful for the wealthy, however this isn’t true. Prenups can be used by people of any socio-economic class to protect their assets.
In a divorce, Pennsylvania follows the rules of equitable distribution. This means that marital assets will not be divided 50/50 in a divorce but distributed 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 of both spouses
- Education and employability of both spouses
- Amount of non-marital assets each party has
- Standard of living during the marriage
Courts may also take into consideration whether one spouse helped the advancement of the other’s career and income. For example, if one spouse quit their job to raise children while the other spouse pursued their career. Which spouse will have primary custody of any children can also play a role in equitable distribution.
To avoid allowing the court to make these impactful decisions, many couples choose to execute a prenuptial agreement to ensure all property is divided in a way that they believe is fair.
What's Typically Included in a Pennsylvania Prenuptial Agreement
The contents of a prenuptial agreement in Pennsylvania are dictated by Pennsylvania law governing domestic relations. It is common to see the following issues addressed in a Pennsylvania prenup:
- Marital property and separate property. The prenup should distinguish between each spouses separate property and what property will be considered marital property.
- Debt liability. A prenup and dictate which spouse is responsible for certain debts and limit liability for the other spouse regarding those debts.
- Spousal support. In many divorces, a lower earning spouse may be entitled to alimony payments from the higher earning spouse. A prenup can waive these rights or set a limit to the payment amount.
- Inheritance. This provision is especially important if either spouse has a child from a previous relationship. A prenup can ensure that a spouse’s children have rights to their assets if they die.
- Estate planning. Most people believe that prenups are just a plan for divorce, but they can be great estate planning tools too.
- Spousal responsibilities. Some prenups include terms and conditions related to each spouse’s role during the marriage. This can include who is responsible for certain bills, how joint bank accounts are managed, and how any disputes will be resolved.
Terms that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement include any agreements relating to child support, child custody, alimony paid before the divorce is finalized, or issues relating to religious upbringing.
Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Pennsylvania?
If a prenuptial agreement is drafted correctly and adheres to all applicable Pennsylvania laws, it will most likely be upheld in divorce court.
A few reasons that a prenup will not be enforced are:
- The agreement is not in writing. Pennsylvania prenups must be in written formant. 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.
Some couples choose to add a “sunset clause” to their prenup. This clause would make the prenup void after a certain number of years of marriage. The idea is that after a certain period of time, there is enough trust and faith that the marriage will last.
Pennsylvania Prenuptial Agreement Projects
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting in Pennsylvania
It is legal and possible to create a prenup without a lawyer, however this is strongly discouraged. A prenuptial agreement can have lasting financial consequences and it is essential that this contract is drafted correctly.
A family law attorney who is familiar with prenups will draft a comprehensive prenup that protects each spouses’ assets, adheres to Pennsylvania law, and will be legally enforceable in court if a divorce should occur.
Prenuptial Agreement Review in Pennsylvania
If a couple does choose to create their own prenup, 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 Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
Hiring an attorney in Pennsylvania to draft a prenuptial 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 prenuptial agreement drafting costs in Pennsylvania are $825.00.
Pennsylvania Prenuptial 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 prenuptial agreement review costs in Pennsylvania are $500.00.
How Do Pennsylvania Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial 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 prenuptial agreement lawyer in Pennsylvania ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired for a specific project like drafting a prenup, 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 prenuptial agreement in Pennsylvania is $662.50.
Get Help with a Pennsylvania 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 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.