How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost?
A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a contract signed by a couple before they get married. This sort of agreement will lay out who will get what in case of a divorce. It can also leave instructions, similar to a will, in case the spouse dies. The cost of a prenup will depend on whether or not you are going to choose a professional or do it on your own.
How much is it?
- For those that want to complete the prenup paperwork on their own, most should not have to spend any more than $300 for the complete procedure. On average, it is going to cost anywhere from $25 to as much as $300 for a do it yourself prenuptial agreement.
- On the other hand, a professionally done prenuptial agreement is going to run anywhere from $250 to as much as $8,000. This price varies so much because it really depends on the complexity of the marriage. A married couple that has more assets to spread out can cost more than an average couple that is just starting out. The average couple should plan on spending anywhere from $300 to $2,500 for the entire process.
- According to an article on USNews.com, the typical couple pays around $2,500.
- Legalhelpmate.com claims that the average couple should plan on budgeting around $700 to as much as $800 for an attorney-prepared agreement.
What are the extra costs?
- If there is a divorce, there are instances that the husband and wife or the attorneys still do not agree. In this case, extra attorney fees and extra court costs will be required.
- Sometimes people bring in appraisers to value a business or home. This can help the prenuptial agreement be more accurate. SEE: “How much does an appraiser cost?“
What is going to be included?
- Similar to a will or even a power of an attorney, a prenup was designed to protect the assets of a spouse. This legal agreement will spell out exactly who is going to get what in case of a divorce. These assets can include those that were acquired before and during the marriage.
- A prenuptial agreement is usually drawn up by the spouse that has a significant number of assets, usually more than what the other spouse has.
- Assets can only be protected within a prenup. Some want to draw up child custody arrangements at the same time, but most states do not allow this by law.
- For those that use an attorney, he will make you write up what you want to protect before the process even begins. This will include the financial assets, any property, real estate, etc. It must be spelled out legally so that in case of a divorce, the spouse will be covered. Remember to be honest with your decisions, and make these decisions after careful consideration rather than out of anger.
- A prenup must be notarized, completed before a marriage, be agreeable with both parties, contain full disclosure to both parties, and must be fair.
Tips to know:
- There are many loopholes that one can take advantage of in case of a divorce. This is why it is so important to consider hiring an attorney. While the costs may be a few thousand dollars more, hiring an attorney can potentially protect all of your assets, come the worst case scenario. If you do not have an attorney or want to find one that specializes in prenups, consider using free services such as LegalMatch.com.
- All attorneys are not created equally. Be sure to ask about their education, expertise, previous cases, and their style.
- If you do not create a prenup, most states will legally split up the assets in half, regardless of the circumstances.
- Prenuptial agreements are always hard to bring up in cases where one spouse has a lot of assets and the other has few. Make sure you approach this subject gingerly!
How can I save money?
- While the online route may seem like the cheap way to go, this is not always the case! You may find that your state requires certain provisions that you did not include in your prenup. When it comes to the law, if one tiny thing is missing, the entire agreement can be void. The lesson here is to make sure that you highly consider going the professional lawyer route.
- Similar to a will or even a power of an attorney, a prenup was designed to protect the assets of a spouse. This legal agreement will spell out exactly who’s going to get what in case of a divorce. These assets can include both that were acquired before and during the marriage.
- In the case of a divorce, the prenuptial agreement can allow you to make your money back in a way. Because divorce can already be so messy, a prenuptial agreement will make the process run a little more smoothly.