If you are living in the big apple and are either engaged or soon-to-be engaged, you may be thinking about hiring a NYC prenup lawyer. Good on you! Prenup lawyers are excellent resources for drafting your prenup. They are usually knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful in assisting you and your honey in creating a prenup. But where do you start? How do you find a good NYC prenup lawyer? What do they cost? What are some pros and cons of hiring a NYC prenup lawyer? How do NYC prenup lawyers compare to other state lawyers? All great questions and we’re here to answer them for you, so keep reading.
How to find a NYC prenup lawyer
Let’s dive into how you can actually find a NYC prenup lawyer.
Advice from a New York prenup lawyer
We went right to the source and asked how to find a NYC prenup lawyer… FROM a New York prenup lawyer, Nicole DiGiacomo. She let us know that one of the best ways you can find a great NYC prenup lawyer is by researching your local bar association. For example, if you are in Brooklyn, you can reach out to the Brooklyn Bar Association for qualified prenup lawyers.
Word of mouth
Another great way to go about finding a NYC prenup lawyer is to start asking friends or family members who have gone through a prenup process for recommendations. It’s important to recognize that not all divorce or family law attorneys are specialized in prenup drafting. A divorce attorney that your friend loves and highly recommends may not actually do prenups, so it’s crucial that you be specific when asking friends and family for recommendations. You can always double-check by researching the recommended lawyer and checking out the services on their website.
You can also search online for prenup lawyers in NYC. Using search engines like Google is a great place to start an online search. You can try typing in relevant keywords, such as “NYC prenup lawyer” or “prenup lawyer near me.” Once you find a few, check out their website and see what services they offer (make sure they actually do prenups).
Regardless of what method you use to find a NYC prenup lawyer, you should check the lawyers’ online reviews. Try searching their name in a search engine to see any client reviews, such as on Avvo and Google. Online reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of a prenup lawyer’s services. How was the lawyer’s response time? Were they friendly? Did they go above and beyond? Be sure to read both the positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded view of how this particular lawyer may pan out.
Test runs (i.e., consultations)
After you’ve done your research and read your reviews, start setting up consultations with your narrowed-down list of prenup lawyers. It’s important to schedule consultations with at least two or three lawyers before making a final decision. Many NYC prenup lawyers will offer a 15 to 30-minute free consultation, as well. During these consultations, ask about their experience with prenups, their approach to drafting agreements, and their availability to work with you. You can also gauge your overall connection with the attorney and make sure you feel comfortable sharing in-depth details with this person regarding finances and your marital relationship.
Average pricing for a NYC prenup lawyer
The cost of a NYC prenup lawyer can vary depending on the lawyer’s experience and the complexity of your prenup. According to New York prenup lawyer Nicole DiGiacomo, an average NYC prenup lawyer will cost you around $900 to $5,000 or more per prenup. It may be on the lower end if there are little to no negotiations and on the higher end if there are tons of negotiations. Much of this cost also depends on the complexity of you and your partner’s assets.
For example, if you hire a prenup attorney with 30 years of experience and between you and your partner, you have three businesses, various stock accounts, overseas investments, large investments in cryptocurrency, and twenty different pieces of real estate, and spend a ton of time negotiating, you may be looking at more time spent on your prenup, resulting in more attorney’s fees (and at a higher rate, since your attorney has 30 years experience).
For an opposite example, if you hire a relatively new prenup attorney (let’s say five years of experience), and the only assets you have are a bank account, then you may be looking at a much cheaper prenup cost.
Where does the price come from? Most NYC prenup lawyers also charge an hourly rate, which can range from $200 to $500 or more per hour. Other prenup lawyers may charge a flat rate for a prenup (although that’s less common). Regardless, it’s important to discuss pricing upfront with your lawyer to avoid any surprises.
Of course, there is always the option of using HelloPrenup’s platform to generate a prenup in NYC, which costs $599 per couple. In NYC, you do not need legal representation to obtain a legally sound prenup.
Pros of hiring a NYC prenup lawyer
Alright, let’s dive into what the benefits are of hiring a NYC prenup lawyer (then we’ll go over the cons in the next section).
Customization of your prenup
A NYC prenup lawyer can help you customize the agreement to your specific needs and situation. They can help make sure that topics such as alimony and property division are set up to your specific needs and wishes.
Customization of your prenup can also include adding additional clauses that you may need and not know are available. For example, a sunset clause. Sunset clauses are essentially an expiration date on the prenup at a certain wedding anniversary (i.e., the prenup will no longer be effective as of your 10th wedding anniversary). A prenup lawyer can help customize your prenup to add any and all clauses that make sense for your situation.
All prenups are susceptible to challenges down the road, even prenups written by lawyers. However, your odds of having your prenup challenged may be decreased by using an experienced NYC prenup lawyer and/or an online platform such as HelloPrenup (which consults with New York prenup lawyers to create a legally sound NY prenup).
Some pitfalls you may run into that could get your prenup challenged or even thrown out include adding unenforceable clauses, incorrectly signing and acknowledging, and more. A NYC prenup lawyer can help you avoid these types of things.
Peace of mind
The process of drafting a prenup can be stressful and worrisome, especially if you’re new to the prenup world. A NYC prenup lawyer can help give you peace of mind in knowing that your agreement is in the hands of an experienced professional who will work to protect your interests.
Hiring a prenup lawyer can also provide you with a wealth of knowledge. If the thought of getting a prenup is a daunting one, and you don’t even know how a prenup works, you may find comfort in hiring a prenup lawyer who can explain dense legal concepts to you. Maybe you’re unsure of how a divorce actually works and just want to understand that aspect. Maybe you simply want to know what most people do in certain situations (what do most people in my position do regarding insurance?). A prenup lawyer can help you with all of that and more.
Cons of hiring a NYC prenup lawyer
We’ve covered all the advantages; now, let’s go over some of the downsides of hiring a NYC prenup lawyer.
Of course, the cost is a con because no one likes spending money on legal fees! And hiring a prenup attorney in any state can be expensive, let alone NYC! The cost of an attorney will vary depending on their experience and the complexity of your situation (number of assets, complicated requests, etc.). The cost of a NYC prenup lawyer can be anywhere from $900 to $5,000 or more if you have a really unique and complex case.
Spending time in a lawyer’s office (not to mention commuting in NYC), answering questions via email/phone, and discussing with your partner about prenup matters can be time-consuming. Also, take into consideration the effort and research that will go into finding the perfect NYC prenup lawyer.
Potentially choosing a lawyer you don’t particularly like
Even if you spent hours researching and reading all the reviews, you might wind up with a lawyer you don’t really like. Just like with any professional service provider, such as a doctor or accountant, you might end up not “vibing” with the person. That’s okay, but it may cost money, time, and energy to find a new lawyer (or dealing with one you don’t like).
Comparing NYC prenup lawyers to other states
While the process of drafting a prenup is similar across all states, the laws regarding prenuptial agreements can vary. For example, in New York, there are very specific acknowledgment requirements for a prenup that don’t exist in other states. A New York prenuptial agreement must be signed and duly acknowledged in the same form as is required to file a deed in the state of New York.
Therefore, it’s important to hire a NYC prenup lawyer who is familiar with the specific laws in your state. If you’re getting married in NYC but plan to live in another state permanently, it may be best to hire a lawyer who is licensed in that state.
Hiring a NYC prenup lawyer can boost the odds that your agreement is legally binding and covers all necessary elements, but it’s not legally required to form a valid prenup. While there are pros and cons to hiring a prenup lawyer, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits to make an informed decision. And, of course, you can always look into getting a prenup with HelloPrenup, all from the comfort of your own home!
Written in collaboration with:
Nicole DiGiacomo is the Managing Attorney at the Law Office of Nicole DiGiacomo, PLLC, located in the New York Metro Area. Her practice is dedicated solely to matrimonial and family law- including prenuptial agreements. Nicole has represented women, men, and children alike in all types of domestic relations cases since 2017. She seeks to bring compassion, understanding, and affordability to the practice of law. Outside of the office, Nicole is a Director of the Board of the Rockland County Bar Association and a college professor.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]