When it comes to preparing prenuptial agreements, there are many factors that can influence how much it will cost you.
To start, there are four general ways that individuals have the documents drafted:
1. A lawyer
2. Software designed to assist with the drafting
3. Online applications and tools
4. Copying another agreement
Obviously, each of these comes with different costs…and more important, varying levels of personal time invested and risk.
Factors that can influence the cost of prenup agreements:
1. The complexity of the agreement (is it straightforward or does it involve many different elements)
2. Location, Experience and Reputation (some areas have higher bill rates for attorneys)
Depending upon the route selected, you can reasonably expect the hard costs (dollars spent) to fall into the following ranges. Typically, here’s how much a prenuptial agreement would cost:
- Lawyer ($300 to $1,000 for simple/straightforward agreements and up to $10,000 for highly complex agreements; in some situations, you may be charged by the hour, as opposed to a flat fee. In this situation, family attorneys can run anywhere from $200 to $600 per hour, depending upon their location and reputation).
- Software, online applications and tools (due to the number of resources on the internet, the costs for purchasing software, applications and tools can run from an average of $20 to $70. Keep in mind, though, that this route leaves you subject to ensuring that the agreement is consistent with your state’s laws. Also, the amount of time you will invest using this route will likely exceed the route of using the lawyer.)
- Copying another agreement (this one will typically involve no direct cost, but will certainly increase the risk of legal errors and issues as well as investing the most time of the four options).
In the end, you will be faced with ensuring that your agreement is consistent with the laws of your state as well as addressing all of the necessary factors to achieve your desired result. If the terms are simple and straightforward and you have the time and resources to ensure that your agreement is drafted appropriately, using an online application or software may be sufficient. If your agreement is complex and has many parts, paying a lawyer may be very well worth the peace of mind it can provide.