Post # 1
My Fiance and I want to create a prenup. We’ve already talked about money and assets and debt and we have a plan. So, my Fiance started looking for a lawyer today and we are shocked to start learning some things… we thought we had it all figured out and we would just need to create a small document and have it legally reviewed and signed and filed, and we figured it would cost a few hundred dollars… well…
My FI called some lawyers today and they said it could cost between $3000 and $5000… just for starters! WTF?!?!? I’d practically have to spend the little bit I want to protect just to do this, lol!
The lawyers just see prenups as potential cash cows, right? Or is this really how it is out there? Can we just create our own written agreement and have it notarized and filed with the county or whatever?
Post # 3
Woah! Our prenup was about $1200 I believe. That’s crazy!!! I would maybe get another quote from a different lawyer…
ETA – And our prenup was actually a bit complicated too because I have assets and Darling Husband has a son. Also, make sure you each have your own seperate lawyer. You can’t use the same one, it’s a conflict of interest (or at least it is where I live!).
Post # 4
@bakerella: Hmmm… ok, so was that $1200 total or for each lawyer?
We both have the same teaching job at about the same pay. I have a tiny starter home worth under $70K (once the mortgage is paid off), a few tiny little investments and inheritances (that would barely pay the remaining mortgage, lol!), and what little is in my FRS (which is hopefully going to survive beyond the current Florida gov! 🙂 My Fiance has 4 teen/young adult kids, so he will want to protect them, and I want to protect myself from them and even his ex possibly reaching through the kids into my pockets if anything should happen. Maybe this makes it complicated, thus expensive? We think we have it all figured out ourselves though. Perhaps there are things we are missing.
Post # 5
You’ll need to look into your local laws to know if you NEED a lawyer to have a valid pre-nup. Most likely, an agreement signed without lawyers (that perhaps state that you both waive your rights to independent legal advise) would mean SOMETHING. However, it would probably be a lot easier for the court to decide to ignore it without independent legal advise.
It really depends on your local laws though. In some places, prenups are NEVER binding, in other places they will hold up if iron clad, and sometimes the court is very willing to enforce them.
Post # 6
Yes, you absolutely should get a lawyer, each of you needs your own lawyer in most states for it to be binding. That cost sounds a bit high, but it all depends on where you live. If you live in a bigger city, then its most likely going to cost you a bit more. But, word to the wise, if all the lawyers in your area charge $3k and you find one that costs you $1k….there’s probably a reason for that. Don’t go with the cheapest lawyer you can find, because you get what you pay for.
Here is what I recommend (as an attorney). You should google (insert your state name here) bar association. Go to the website and find a link for the lawyer referral service for your state, and call them. They will be able to recommend a good, reliable attorney that practices family law/contracts and each of you should get your own referral. Most attorneys do initial consultation for free, so you should go in and get a free consultation, not just call and ask how much a pre-nup costs.
Post # 7
@ OP: My lawyer was $1200. Darling Husband used a friend of ours who’s a partner in a law firm, so I couldn’t tell you what the rate was there. Likely a lot less than $1200 😉
Post # 8
We used a pre-formatted prenup, edited it ourselves, and had a good lawyer friend of mine read it over before finalizing it. My friend did ours for free. It took us a day to complete and a few days for my friend to look it over.