How much does a prenuptial agreement cost in Wisconsin? This a common question that couples ask when they are contemplating marriage. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about prenuptial agreements and why they are important.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Wisconsin is $487.50.
How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost in Wisconsin?
A prenuptial agreement, sometimes called a premarital agreement or shortened to “prenup”, is a legally binding property agreement entered into before a couple gets married. Prenuptial agreements lay out how a couple will divide property, assets, and debts in the event of a divorce.
The cost of a prenuptial agreement will vary depending on several factors like the length of the document, the number of custom terms, and how many hours a lawyer spends on the project.
Why Do I Need a Prenuptial Agreement in Wisconsin?
Prenuptial agreements have gained a negative reputation over the years especially because many couples try to avoid uncomfortable financial discussions prior to getting married. However, prenups are great tools for couples to protect their assets and avoid financial arguments in the future.
Wisconsin is one of nine states in the United States that follow the principle of “community property” laws. Under these laws, when a couple marries, any assets or debts obtained after the marriage belong equally to both spouses.
Separate property, property obtained prior to the marriage, will usually remain separate under these laws and be awarded to the original owner. However, if a spouse isn’t careful and they comingle separate property with marital property, it will be converted to marital property and subject to distribution in a divorce.
Many people view community property laws as unfair, but without a valid prenuptial agreement, these are the laws that will govern a couple’s divorce. To avoid being subject to these laws, a couple can discuss what type of property distribution plan would be right for them and detail this plan in a legally binding prenuptial agreement.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Enforceable in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) for laws regarding prenuptial agreements. Under this act, for a prenup to be enforceable in it must meet the following requirements:
- The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties
- The agreement must be written and signed in contemplation of marriage (there must be a definite and upcoming marriage)
- Signed by both parties voluntarily (not under duress or false pretenses)
- The agreement cannot be “unconscionable” (unfair)
- The prenup cannot violate public policy
In addition, for a prenup to be enforceable, both spouses must provide financial disclosures that fully detail their assets, property, debts, and income.
What's Typically Included in a Wisconsin Prenuptial Agreement
Although prenuptial agreements will vary based on the couple’s needs and their financial situation, contents of the prenup are regulated by the UPAA.
Wisconsin prenuptial agreements can legally cover the following issues:
- The rights and obligations of each spouse regarding all assets and debts
- The management and control of property
- Allocation of property if a spouse dies
- The modification or elimination of spousal support (alimony)
- The making of a will or trust to facilitate the terms of the prenup
- The ownership rights of the death benefit from a life insurance policy
- The choice of law that governs the agreement
Many couples ask whether a prenup can include agreements about child support and child custody. In Wisconsin, couples can include provisions about support and custody but the agreement cannot limit or cap the amount of child support that either parent must pay.
If neither party contests the prenup, courts will generally allow the parents to carry out their custody and support plans as agreed upon as long as it fair and reasonable under the circumstances. If the prenup is contested, child support and custody matters will be determined by a judge.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements provide couples with many benefits including:
- Protection of assets
- Protection from debts
- Customized plan to distribute assets in a divorce
- Avoidance of a typical divorce settlement
- Comprehensive planning for the future
- Peace of mind knowing that financial matters are settled
Financial matters are the most highly contested issues in divorces. By having a prenup in place, this hot topic is eliminated from the divorce process and couples can avoid additional stress and additional lawyer fees from costly litigation.
Wisconsin Prenuptial Agreement Projects
Prenuptial Agreement Drafting in Wisconsin
Prenuptial agreements can be complex legal documents that will have lasting financial effects on a couple’s lives. It is important that these contracts are drafted properly by a knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with Wisconsin laws.
Before drafting a prenup, a lawyer will have a consultation with the couple. The lawyer will need to document all the couple’s assets and debts so they can be included in the prenup. Once the lawyer has collected all pertinent information, he can draft a customized prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial Agreement Review in Wisconsin
Many couples attempt to draft their own prenup without the help of a lawyer. While this is possible to do, if you choose this route, it is highly recommended to have a licensed attorney review the agreement before signing it.
An attorney will look over the contract to ensure that it is fair and abides by all Wisconsin laws. The lawyer can correct mistakes and identify legal loopholes that could have negative legal repercussions.
Wisconsin Prenuptial Agreement Drafting Cost
When a couple hires a lawyer to draft their prenuptial agreement, they will incur legal fees because drafting a contract requires the time and legal expertise of a licensed lawyer.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average Wisconsin prenuptial agreement drafting costs are $500.00.
Wisconsin Prenuptial Agreement Cost
Hiring an attorney to review a prenuptial agreement will also come with legal fees. The lawyer will use their legal expertise and knowledge of Wisconsin law to review the contract and ensure it is legally binding.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average prenuptial agreement review costs in Wisconsin are $475.00.
How Do Wisconsin Lawyers Charge for a Prenuptial Agreement?
Hourly Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
It is common for Wisconsin family law attorneys to use an hourly rate fee structure to bill their clients. Under this fee structure, a lawyer will inform the client of their hourly rate then bill the client for the amount of hours spent working on a case or project.
The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows the average hourly rate for a family lawyer in Wisconsin ranges from $200 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Prenuptial Agreements
When a lawyer is hired to complete a drafting project like writing a prenuptial agreement, they may choose to quote a flat fee rate instead of billing by the hour. The attorney will use their experience to estimate how long the drafting project will take then quote the client a fair flat fee for all legal services.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average flat fee rate for a prenuptial agreement in Wisconsin is $487.50.
Get Help with a Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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.