How much does a prenuptial agreement cost? A prenuptial agreement , sometimes called a premarital agreement or a prenup, is often discussed when a couple decides to marry.
Although most people think prenups are only for the wealthy, a prenuptial agreement can benefit couples from various socioeconomic backgrounds.
When considering a prenuptial agreement, the first question that most couples ask is how much it will cost. Let's explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost?
Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts that couples can execute before getting married. A prenup documents each person's assets before the marriage and specifies how financial issues will be handled in the event of a divorce.
Prenups are surprisingly common and becoming more popular each year. This trend could be for a couple of reasons:
- It is more common for couples to wait to get married so they accumulate more assets before marriage
- The prevalence of divorce in previous generations (kids watching parents getting divorced)
Getting help from a family lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement is highly encouraged because this document is critical. Prenups must include specific information, and if prepared incorrectly, the contract may not hold up in court.
Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement is $550 .
Prenuptial agreement cost depends on many variables, including location of the couple, the complexity of the document, and any additional terms that the couple wants included in the contract.
See Prenuptial Agreement Pricing by State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What's Typically Included in a Prenuptial Agreement
Terms included in a prenuptial agreement will vary depending on the couple's personal needs, the assets and property they possess, and how detailed they want the agreement to be.
Although agreements can differ significantly from couple to couple, it is common to find the following items in a prenuptial agreement:
- Premarital assets and debts: Prenuptial agreements need to establish what assets and debts each person have before entering the marriage and how these assets and debts will be treated after the wedding. If one person owns a house before getting married, will they jointly own the home after the couple weds?
- Marital assets and debts: Most states treat any property gained during the marriage as equally owned by both spouses. Your prenuptial agreement, however, can keep certain assets or debts you plan to accumulate separately. If one spouse plans to go back to school and accumulate student loans after the marriage, the prenup can establish that the debt is that spouse's responsibility alone.
- Children from a previous relationship: If either spouse has children from a previous relationship, a prenup should detail how the children will be provided for and instructions for inheritances.
- Family Property: If either spouse has family heirlooms or a family business, they can protect this asset and ensure it stays in the family by adding this as a provision in the prenuptial agreement.
Some couples will outline marital expectations in the prenuptial agreement. These expectations must be related to finances. Some examples include:
- Who is expected to pay specific bills
- How tax returns will be filed
- How bank accounts will be handled
- How investments will be handled
- Agreements about large purchases
- Property division in a divorce: One of the most important terms in a prenuptial agreement is how the couples’ assets will be divided if they divorce. This avoids a complicated, emotionally charged legal process after the breakdown of the relationship has already occurred.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements provide many benefits to couples who are entering a marriage. Some benefits include:
- Protection for children from previous marriages
- Comprehensive planning for the future
- Protection from premarital debts
- Protection for personal property
- Avoiding a typical divorce settlement
Divorces are often long, drawn-out, emotionally charged, and expensive. Most of the fighting during a divorce occurs over assets and debts. When a premarital agreement is in place, all the decisions about property division are already made. This saves a couple from the additional stress, pain, and financial burden during an already challenging time.
Learn about postnuptial agreements .
Examples of Prenuptial Agreement Projects
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting
Many couples will hire a knowledgeable family lawyer to help consult and draft a prenuptial agreement that fits their needs regarding their assets, debts, property, and family.
Prenuptial agreement drafting usually involves a consultation with the couple to learn about the terms they want to include in the agreement. The attorney will then draft a contract that implements these terms. Prenuptial agreement costs can vary based on how complex the prenup needs to be.
Prenuptial Agreement Review
Sometimes, a couple may already have a prenuptial agreement or have started drafting a prenup agreement from a template. In this case, they will want an experienced attorney to review their contract.
Reasons you may need to find a lawyer to review a prenuptial agreement include:
- Ensuring it meets all legal requirements
- It is updated with all your current assets and debts
- It will be legally enforceable in court in the event of a divorce
Prenuptial Agreement Disputes
Even though a prenuptial agreement is a legally enforceable contract, like all contracts, there are several ways to challenge the validity of a prenuptial agreement if there is a dispute.
Various requirements must be met to make a prenup valid. These include:
- The agreement must be reasonable and fair
- Both parties must sign the prenup
- Each spouse is required to have at least seven days to review the contract before signing
Other situations that may challenge the validity of a prenuptial agreement include:
- The prenup was signed under duress, by force, by manipulation, or out of compulsiveness
- If either party was misrepresented
- If either party did not have the mental ability to consent to a contract
- If either party was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of signing
Some states require an attorney for each party when the prenup is signed to ensure both parties are equally represented. If the agreement was signed without attorneys present, it might be considered invalid.
Drafting A Prenuptial Agreement Cost
Drafting a prenuptial agreement comes with expenses because it requires the time of a licensed lawyer to complete the project.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average prenuptial agreement drafting costs are $750 across all states and industries.
Reviewing Prenuptial Agreement Cost
If you need a prenuptial agreement reviewed, hiring a lawyer will come with fees. Your attorney will need to read over the prenup to analyze the terms and make sure the document is legally enforceable. You will need to compensate your lawyer for the time spent on your project.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs to be $450 across all states.
How Do Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Family lawyers charge for services in various ways; however, the two most popular payment structures used are hourly rates and flat fees.
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
Hourly rate fee structures are the most common fee structure for family attorneys. With this fee structure, a lawyer will bill a client at a set hourly rate for working on the case or project.
An hourly rate payment ensures that the lawyer is fairly compensated for all their time working on a client's 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 Prenuptial Agreements
It is becoming more common to see a flat fee billing structure for contract drafting projects, like a prenuptial agreement. In a flat fee payment structure, attorneys will provide a flat fee price to the client for the proposed services.
The client usually prefers flat fee rates because they know exactly how much they will be spending for legal services. It is vital, however, that the client knows what is included in the flat fee rate.
When drafting a prenup, there is usually a meeting with the clients, and then the attorney must prepare the contract. After looking over the prenup, the clients may decide it needs revisions. In some states, the attorney may also be required to be present at the signing. It should be made clear whether the flat fee includes these extra meetings and services.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for prenuptial agreement costs to be $550 .
Get Help with a 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 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.