Prenuptial Agreement

How Much Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cost?

8 mins read

Getting married is an exciting milestone, but with the unfortunate reality of a nearly 15% divorce rate in America, more couples are thinking through contingency plans. This is where prenuptial agreements come in – they are contracts signed before marriage outlining how assets, debts, spousal support, and more will be handled in case of a future divorce.

Though the subject can feel awkward or insensitive to discuss, having a prenup is simply about proactively planning for all possible outcomes. As divorce lawyers, we have seen firsthand how contentious divorce can become when finances and property are involved. A prenuptial agreement helps reduce conflict down the road by making decisions in advance while emotions are still calm.

Why Get a Prenup?

Before we dive into the costs, let’s quickly review some of the key reasons why couples choose to get prenups. A prenuptial agreement allows you and your future spouse to contractually determine how certain assets and debts will be treated during the marriage and in the event of divorce. This can be especially important if:

  • One spouse owns a business or significant assets prior to marriage
  • There is a large disparity in income/net worth between partners
  • Children from previous relationships need to be considered for inheritance
  • You want to outline terms for spousal support or child support
  • You wish to protect any future inheritance

A prenup provides a proactive way to navigate complex financial matters and potentially avoid costly litigation down the road if you unfortunately get divorced. However, the costs of getting a prenup drafted properly should be a consideration.

Average Cost of a Prenuptial Agreement in Tennessee

According to recent data from the legal services marketplace Contracts Counsel, the average cost of a prenuptial agreement in Tennessee is $720. This pricing represents the average total flat fee that couples can expect to pay an experienced family law attorney to draft and finalize a comprehensive prenup.

The same data shows the national averages break down to:

  • Drafting a new prenup from scratch: $880
  • Simply reviewing an existing prenup draft: $510

Of course, these are just averages. The exact cost can vary significantly based on the complexity of your specific situation and the extent of legal services required. Factors that may increase prenup costs include:

  • Significant marital assets and debts to account for
  • Multiple properties or business interests
  • Children from prior relationships requiring inheritance/estate planning
  • If there are disputes or extensive negotiations between parties

How Lawyers Charge for Prenup Services

When hiring a lawyer for prenup services, they will typically charge using one of two common billing methods:

  1. Hourly Rates: Many family law attorneys bill by the hour for prenup work at rates averaging $200-$350 per hour. This fee structure accounts for all time spent drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and finalizing the prenuptial agreement.
  2. Flat Fees: Increasingly, lawyers are offering flat fee pricing for basic prenup services. The flat fee covers all basic drafting/reviewing with a single, upfront cost – often around $700 on average.

Hourly rates make more sense for complex prenups requiring extensive work, while flat fees are preferable for straightforward situations to keep legal fees predictable.

What a Prenup Covers and Why You Need a Lawyer

While some online templates exist, I strongly advise against attempting to draft a prenup yourself or using boilerplate forms found on the internet. Prenuptial agreements are highly technical legal contracts that must comply with specific state laws to be considered valid and enforceable.

An experienced prenup lawyer will ensure your agreement properly addresses issues like:

  • Identification of all separate property and marital property
  • Equitable property division in case of divorce
  • Treatment of the marital home and investment accounts
  • Financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage
  • Terms for spousal support/alimony
  • Protection of any expected future inheritance
  • Providing for any children from prior relationships

Beyond just drafting the agreement, your lawyer’s role is to advise you on your legal rights, ensure you understand all the prenup terms, and advocate for your best interests. Both parties should have separate legal counsel when entering into a prenup to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Why the Cost of a Prenup is a Worthwhile Investment

For many couples, particularly those with complex financial situations or lopsided assets, the costs of a prenup are relatively minor compared to the potential costs of a contested divorce down the road. A properly executed prenuptial agreement can:

  • Protect your separate property rights and assets from claims
  • Prevent lengthy court battles over property division
  • Avoid expensive divorce litigation fees in the future
  • Provide financial certainty for both spouses post-divorce
  • Reduce conflict over spousal support obligations
  • Secure the financial interests of any children involved

The legal fees for a prenup may cost $700 on average in Tennessee. But an ugly, protracted divorce where everything is contested could easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees alone – not to mention court costs and other financial impacts.

Next Steps for Getting a Prenup in Tennessee

At the Law Office of Sam Byrd, we understand that getting married is an exciting time, but also involves carefully planning for your future together. Our experienced family law team can advise you on all aspects of prenups.

Prenuptial agreements are powerful legal tools, but only when drafted correctly by competent legal counsel. With proper planning and guidance from an experienced divorce lawyer in Chattanooga, a prenup can give you and your future spouse financial peace of mind to start your marriage on solid footing.

Don’t take chances with one of the most important legal contracts you’ll sign. Contact us today to discuss your prenup needs and get a flat fee quote from our skilled prenup lawyers. We’re here to make this process easy while protecting your rights.

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