Prenuptial agreements, or prenups as they are commonly referred to, have long been associated with the wealthy and famous. However, more and more couples are now considering them as a means of protecting their assets.
But the question on a lot of minds is: ‘Why are prenups so expensive?’
In this blog post, we will delve into the cost factors of getting a prenup and why they can sometimes seem disproportionately high.
What Is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract entered into by a couple before they get married or enter into a civil partnership.
It details how their assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation. The aim of a prenup is to provide clarity and security for both parties, and to avoid potential disputes over property, finances and other assets in the future.
Obviously, with any legal document, there are going to be costs involved – especially if you want it done right.
Next, we’ll look at what those costs may be.
What Are the Costs Involved in Getting a Prenup?
The cost of a prenup can vary greatly depending on various factors.
These include the complexity of the couple’s financial situation, the expertise of the attorney drafting the agreement, and the state where the couple resides.
Legal fees are usually the most substantial part of the expense, but there may also be costs for financial advisors, mediators, and court filing fees.
We highly recommend having an attorney draft your prenup – this is so you know it will be valid and enforceable should you ever need it.
There’s nothing worse than thinking your document is bullet-proof, only to have it challenged and struck down in court later on.
Your attorney’s fees will vary depending on how complex your agreement is – usually anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, total. Though it could go up even more if you have a particularly complex state of affairs.
You also will be paying for two attorneys in states like Georgia. This is because we always recommend that both parties have their own independent attorneys – to review, revise, and go over the agreement with them.
Otherwise, the non-represented party could come back later and say they did not knowingly agree to what was written. And then the costs you paid at the beginning will not count for anything.
For a prenup, each spouse-to-be must disclose all of their assets and debts to the other person. Sometimes, those financial statements can get a little daunting.
That’s when you may want to bring in a financial advisor to help you both see and track where the money is and what the results of an agreement to share or not share in the money would be.
Of course, you will need to pay the financial advisor for this valuable service.
If you and your spouse-to-be need some help in coming to an agreement on what your prenup will look like, it may be a good idea to get a third-party neutral, like a mediator, involved.
You and your attorneys would meet with the mediator to discuss your options and see if you can come to an agreement. Mediators generally charge by the hour, so it’s a cost to plan for if you think you might need it.
Court Filing Fees
In some states, you may be required to file your prenuptial agreement with the courts in order for it to be valid.
The state of Georgia does not require this, but check your local state laws to find out if your state does, and if so how much it would cost.
Why Are Prenups So Expensive in the US?
Prenups are often more expensive in the US due to the complex nature of the country’s legal system.
Each state has its own laws regarding prenuptial agreements, and ensuring that an agreement is legally sound and enforceable can require a significant amount of legal expertise and time.
This is particularly true if the couple’s financial situation is complex, involving things like business ownership, substantial assets, or children from previous relationships.
How Much Does a Prenup Cost in Georgia?
In Georgia, the cost of a prenup can range from $2,000 to $7,500 or more, depending on the complexity of the agreement and the rates of the attorneys involved – along with the other costs we covered above.
How Much Money Should I Have for a Prenup?
There isn’t a set amount of money you should have before considering a prenup. Rather, it’s about the potential complexity of dividing your assets in the event of a divorce.
If you own a business, have substantial savings, investments, or inherited wealth, a prenup can be a wise investment.
At What Point Is a Prenup Worth It?
A prenup is worth considering when you have assets that you want to protect, when there’s a significant disparity in wealth or debt between you and your partner, or when you want to safeguard your financial future. Despite the upfront cost, a well-drafted prenup can potentially save you a great deal of time, money, and emotional stress in the long run.
While prenups can be expensive, they are an investment in your future security and peace of mind.
Always consult with a knowledgeable attorney to understand the potential benefits and costs in your specific situation.