What Kind of Lawyer Does Prenups?
Finding a Prenup Lawyer: Getting a List of Attorneys
Generally, lawyers who specialize in family law, marriages and divorces are in the category of those who would be able to do a prenup. Your local bar association keeps a listing of marriage lawyers, prenup attorneys and other legal practitioners grouped by their area of practice.
Search engines frequently return you links for lawyers practicing family law in your local area. With clever search term combinations, a selection of attorneys who handle prenuptial agreements can be found. Use such terms as “prenup lawyer”, “prenuptial lawyer”, or, “prenuptial agreement attorney close by”. Once the nearest lawyers that practice in this area come up, you can begin narrowing down the field.
Pinpointing an Attorney Who Has Done Prenups Before
You need to be aware that in some cases, a firm or a lawyer will advertise that they practice in the broad area of family law, but they may not have experience handling prenups. With that said, as part of the process of retaining a prenup lawyer, your next step should be to contact and meet with some attorneys who practice in family law or claim to have experience with prenups. You can ask them more about their track record handling prenuptial agreements for clients like you and circumstances like yours.
Making Your Decision
Some of the criteria you should use to choose your prenup attorney include:
- The prenup services you require
- The protection you are seeking for you and your property
- The size of your asset portfolio
- The budget you are working with
- Your comfort level with the attorney
What prenup Services You Require
You should be clear what services you require. Do you need the agreement written? Have you been asked by your significant other to sign an agreement? Do you need your attorney to deal with negotiations? Are you getting a divorce and you need help getting your prenup enforced? Being clear about what you require will help you narrow down your choice of attorneys.
What Kind of Protection are You Seeking for You and Your Property
Here again, know what you require.
More than thinking about the current state of affairs, with a prenup, you should think about the future also. Are you considering switching some of your separate property into community property to share with your husband? Are you concerned about being required to assume responsibility for your wife’s debts? What about when one of you dies? Should the prenup have provisions for this or are you putting a will or a trust in place to distribute your assets?
If you don’t have answers, don’t worry. At the very least, knowing what questions you need answered is valuable.
The Size of Your Asset Portfolio
If your assets are many and high in value, then you need a lawyer who has experience making prenups for people with large estates. If you don’t have much to protect right now, then your attorney should have experience working with clients such as yourself who also didn’t have a big asset portfolio to negotiate.
Your Budget for a Prenup Lawyer
The median legal fee for a prenup lawyer is $2,500, according to U.S. News and World Report. The lowest amount couples will be asked to pay is $1,200 to $2,400 each, but fees can swing widely based on a multiple factors. Do some research before meeting with your final contenders.
Your Comfort Level With Your Prenup Attorney
Because of the particularly intimate and confidential nature of the information you will be sharing with your lawyer for them to represent you, one criteria you should gauge is your comfort level with them. A face-to-face meeting with the lawyer will help you figure this out at the outset.
Indeed, as standard practice, they should obey the attorney-client privilege. If they don’t mention it early, confirm with them what kinds of information you share with them is privileged and if any information is not. Beyond that, observe if you have a good rapport and you feel relaxed talking with them and sharing information. If so, then you may have found your prenup attorney.