(Closed) Anyone used a cheap online pre-nup?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Family law (which governs pre-nups) varies from state to state.  So part of the reason that you might need a lawyer isn’t because you need something really long in archaic language, it’s because you need someone to tell you what your state requires in order for the prenup to be valid.  I don’t know of any sites where you can get a good one, so this isn’t really an answer to your question, but you want to make sure that if you look for one online you also look up what the particular requirements are in your state.  For example, some states require that for a prenup to be valid, both parties must have given full disclosure of all of their assets.  So even if the person read it and signed it, if you didn’t actually sit down and give them an accurate description of your financial circumstances, it won’t hold up.  Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

As the betrothed of a family lawyer I would like to beg you to find a reasonably priced attorney to help you with this.

 It’s not just that family law varies by state-to-state (it does), it’s also that people who go the DIY route with this can make huge and unintentional errors which come back to bite you after it’s too late to fix it. My beloved spent a full year in two different family law classes studying case law where people tried to do “A” but accidentally ended up with “Q”.

 You might be able to use your state’s bar referral service to find an attorney who will look over the one you make yourself and tell you if it looks okay or if you need to make changes. Of course no one ever PLANS on needing the pre-nup, but if you’re going to go through the effort you should at least make sure that it will effectively do what you intend for it to.

 I’m assuming that, since your parents are insisting that you have one, that there are family assets they’d like to protect? In that case they should help you get this done in an efficacious way.

If that’s not the case and you DON’T want one, screw them, pardon my french. Your marriage your decisions.

Post # 6
Member
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

I have a friend who has used this firm and was very pleased. They aren’t a dediated family law firm, but it’s a place to start . . .

http://www.lincolnlawpartners.com/home

Post # 7
Member
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

It seems to me that if you have the assets to warrant a pre-nup, you should be able to afford a couple lawyers without much of an issue. I know you said you don’t want to spent a lot of money but when it comes to legal documents, it’s probably best to have it done by a professional than to find out that you didn’t dot your I’s and cross your T’s if it ever gets to the point where you need to use it. 

Post # 8
Member
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

You can write a prenup yourself, but like others have said you should look up your state laws. For example, in NY most issues in reference to child custody and support are exclusively the jurisdiction of the court, so you cant address them in a prenup. You dont need to pay for a template, since you can find them pretty easy online.

I highly suggest you hire an attorney, at a reasonable flat fee to at least review what you have drafted to make sure it conforms to your state laws. If you have substantial assets you should also each have seperate attorneys review to be sure your interests are being met. Again you can find inexpensive lawyers for this at a flat fee. If you choose not to have a lawyer review, you need to include a clause saying that the parties had the opportunity to have legal assistance but declined.  

I am drafting our prenup (I am an attorney and have done this many times as a legal intern) and I had my fiance read The Complete Prenuptual Agreement Kit by Edward A. Haman. I wanted him to understand what all a prenup entailed, so he could fully understand it even though  I would be the one writing it. The book does a great job of describing how to write and organize a prenup and has several examples based on your situation. He is going to have his own attorney review our agreement though.

Post # 9
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

@mzlouis2b: Excellent call about having her fiance be sure to have it reviewed by his own attorney! OP – It should be pretty reasonable just to review it, unless he wants to negotiate different terms. It’s very important not just for his own knowledge but for the validity of the document that everyone be aware of what they are signing and what the effects will be.

Post # 11
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

That’s pretty reasonable. I imagine especially for Chicago/Illinois.

Here in Oregon the lowest hourly rates for family lawyers tend to be about $150/hour which means even a fairly straight forward pre-nup by a low cost attorney will be in the $1,000 region, the more complicated (e.g. more assets/provisions) or more experienced the attorney the higher that goes.

If your friend is a qualified attorney and has done a pre-nup before I would say you should definitely go for it!

Post # 12
Member
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I agree with Lexy, 500 sounds pretty reasonable.

Post # 13
Member
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Like other bees have said, it is best to get a lawyer to do the prenup. Also, in many cases your prenup stands a better chance of being held up in court if you and your Fiance each get your own lawyer to review it. That way no one can come back and complain that the process was too onesided or the lawyer was really favoring one or the other.

Post # 14
Member
399 posts
Helper bee

I have received quotes for flat rate pre-nups in RI for $500-750 so $500 sounds good 🙂

Post # 15
Member
2616 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

500 is a good deal.. my lawyer for custody battle last year charge 400 an hour…….. the retainer was gone so fast.:(

Post # 16
Member
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@likelimeade: I noticed that you’re from Chicago and Champaign, IL- both of those towns have good law schools.  You could see if any of them have a family law clinic that handles that kind of work, which would probably be free or heavily discounted.  (I wouldn’t suggest asking a law student outside of a clinic- in a clinic there will be supervision from an expert, and law students don’t know what they’re doing.)  

Alternatively, you could use the online prenups as a model and ask a lawyer to look it over for you.  Looking over an already written pre-nup is significantly less time consuming than writing one from scratch, but there is still a lot of work involved.  When I write a pre-nup, I put a lot of time and effort into it, mostly to make sure the couple fully understands and agrees to everything in it.  That is something I still have to do when a couple comes to me with a rough draft.  

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