How much does a postnuptial agreement cost? A postnuptial agreement, similar to a prenuptial agreement, is a legal contract that depicts how a couple will divide their assets if they get divorced. The main difference between a prenup and a postnuptial agreement is that the postnuptial agreement is signed after the couple has already wed.
When considering a postnuptial agreement, the primary question that most couples ask is how much will a postnuptial agreement cost. Let's explore this question and go over some general information about postnuptial agreements.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost?
Family attorneys are noticing that postnuptial agreements are becoming more popular. These agreements tend to make married couples feel secure because they can plan for their future and define what a potential divorce might look like.
Postnuptial agreements are executed for various reasons, whether it is protecting a family inheritance, protecting a business, or simply wanting a fair, reasonable division of property set in place in case a divorce occurs. Some issues worked out in a postnuptial agreement may include:
- Division of property
- Repayment of gifts
- Marital Debts
- Asset distribution if either spouse dies
Getting help from a family lawyer to draft a postnuptial agreement is highly encouraged. A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract , and like any other contract, it must include specific terms to be legally enforceable. An experienced family lawyer will know what to have in a postnuptial agreement to ensure it will hold up in court.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a postnuptial agreement is $550 .
Postnuptial agreement costs will vary depending on many factors. Location often plays a role in price because the cost of living and services fluctuates between states. Other factors include the complexity of the document, additional terms the couple requests, and how many times the lawyer needs to meet with the couple during the drafting process.
Explore some of our Postnuptial Agreement lawyers .
What's Typically Included in a Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements will vary depending on the couple. When drafting this agreement, a couple's assets, property, children both together or from previous relationships, and personal wishes will all come into play.
State laws will govern what can and cannot be enforced through a postnuptial agreement, so as long as a term dop violate any laws, the couple is free to include what they want in their postnuptial agreement.
Some standard terms that you will find in most postnuptial agreements include:
- Property division in a divorce: Defining how property will be divided in a divorce is usually the main reason for executing a postnuptial agreement. Division of property can include who will have rights to the house, vehicles, a shared business, or any other assets obtained before or after the couple was wed.
- Alimony: Called spousal support in some states, alimony is financial support made by one spouse to the other. This usually occurs if one spouse worked while the other stayed home to raise a family. The postnuptial agreement should specify the amount of alimony agreed upon and how long the payments will be made.
- Marital Debts: The postnuptial agreement should dictate how marital debts will be divided in a divorce. This could be a mortgage loan, credit card debt, student loans, or a car payment.
- Asset distribution after death: A postnuptial agreement can include terms about assets if one spouse dies while still married. It can get more detailed to layout how property and assets are distributed if a spouse dies while going through a divorce.
Are Postnuptial Agreements Enforceable?
If a postnuptial agreement is drafted and executed correctly, it will usually be legally enforceable. Like all legal matters, however, there is a degree of subjectivity surrounding the enforcement of postnuptial agreements, and in the end, it will be up to the courts.
Many states provide provisions that a postnuptial agreement must be fair, reasonable, and made in good faith. If a judge determines that the contract meets these requirements, there is a good chance it will be enforced. These requirements, however, are very subjective and, therefore, can easily be argued against in court.
This is one reason why it is essential to have an experienced family attorney draft your postnuptial agreement. Attorneys know what clauses and terms are required to make a contract, like a postnuptial agreement, legally enforceable.
Examples of Postnuptial Agreement Projects
Postnuptial Agreement Drafting
Many couples will hire an experienced family attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement. An attorney can ensure that the document fits their needs and includes provisions about their assets, property, family, and debts.
Postnuptial agreement drafting will usually involve a consultation first. Then, based on the couple's needs, the attorney will draft a postnuptial agreement. The couple can then review the contract to ensure that no revisions are required. Postnuptial agreement costs will vary based on the complexity of the agreement.
Postnuptial Agreement Review
In some cases, a couple doesn't need a new postnuptial agreement drafted; they just need their current agreement reviewed. This could be because an older postnuptial agreement needs to be updated with recently acquired assets or something changed.
Postnuptial Agreement Disputes
Although postnuptial agreements are legal contracts, they can be disputed in court. If any of the following basic requirements are not met, a court may rule that a postnuptial agreement is unenforceable.
- In Writing: A postnuptial agreement must be in writing to be valid.
- Voluntary: Both parties must have voluntarily agreed to sign the contract without coercion, threats, or manipulation.
- Full Disclosure: At the time of the agreement, both parties must fully and honestly disclose their assets, debts, and any other factors addressed in the postnuptial agreement.
- Fairness: The agreement must be fair and cannot be blatantly one-sided or unconscionable.
- Valid Execution: Both parties must sign the agreement, neither party can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and many states require the signatures to be notarized.
Some states may require witnesses or other terms to make a postnuptial agreement enforceable. If you are unsure of your state's laws, you should contact a knowledgeable family lawyer.
Drafting A Postnuptial Agreement Cost
Drafting a postnuptial agreement requires the time of a licensed attorney, so there will be costs incurred.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average postnuptial agreement drafting costs are $750 across all states.
Reviewing Postnuptial Agreement Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a postnuptial agreement will also come with costs. Whether the attorney is drafting the agreement or simply reviewing it, they need to be compensated for their time.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average postnuptial agreement review costs to be $350 across all states.
How Do Lawyers Charge for a Postnuptial Agreement?
If you hire a family lawyer to draft or review a postnuptial agreement, you will most likely be charged hourly for the attorney's services. However, some attorneys are beginning to switch to a flat fee rate schedule to charge for document drafting.
Hourly Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
It is common for family attorneys to operate using an hourly rate fee structure. This means that the attorney has a set hourly rate and will bill a client for the number of hours spent working on a case.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer ranges from $250 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Postnuptial Agreements
Sometimes an attorney will use a flat fee billing structure. This is becoming more common for document drafting. The attorney will quote a flat rate fee for their work on a particular project or case with this fee structure.
Clients should double-check what is included in the flat rate price. Meetings with the attorney or revisions on a document may incur extra fees.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for postnuptial agreement costs to be $550 .
Get Help with a 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 to 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.