Do I need a prenup attorney in Portland for a valid prenup?
The short answer is no. A lawyer is not required to have a valid and enforceable prenup, but having one definitely helps if your prenup is ever challenged. Let’s put it this way: are you an expert in the law? Do you read all of the latest case law on prenups? Our guess is no. A prenup lawyer does, though. And they can assist you in drafting a prenuptial agreement that complies with state laws and increases the likelihood of its enforcement if it’s ever challenged.
Can my partner and I use the same attorney?
No! If you are choosing to hire legal representation, you both need to hire your own attorneys. One attorney can’t zealously advocate for two parties to the same contract. Let’s use an example to demonstrate the issue: Maria wants to keep the possibility of spousal support in the prenup while Mark wants to do away with that option. How could an attorney be a great advocate for both people at the same time when they have competing interests? It’s not possible! Hence the need for people to hire their own counsel.
Why should I hire a prenup attorney?
We get it. Prenup attorneys cost money. A lot of money. And when you’re planning a wedding, saving up for a down payment on a house, and putting away cash for your future children’s college, attorney fees aren’t at the top of the priority list. However, they are a great tool that you can utilize to help you protect your finances! That’s right, with a prenup, you can make sure your finances stay intact, to your satisfaction, no matter what the future holds. And a prenup attorney can be one catalyst for that outcome. Let’s go through some of the benefits of hiring a prenup attorney.
They know the law
Let’s face it. A prenup attorney knows the law better than you. They are going to help you create a state-compliant prenup that is more likely to hold up in court than if you had done it yourself without legal assistance. Plus, you can ask them questions about the law, like, “What happens if we get a divorce?” or “What’s the process for enforcing my prenup in Portland?”
They can give you advice
What should you put into your prenup? Should you include spousal support? What about a sunset clause? A death clause? A prenup attorney can give you advice that pertains to YOUR specific situation, based on your unique goals, lifestyle, finances, and relationship.
The cost of a prenup attorney in Portland (and an alternative)
Let’s get down to the question you’ve all been waiting for: how much will it cost me? Well, this isn’t such a straightforward answer, as the cost of your Portland prenup attorney will vary based on several different factors. We discuss below.
Cost of living
Of course, as with anything in life, the cost of living will affect the price of the services you purchase. If you live in Manhattan, New York City, the cost of your prenup lawyer is going to be a lot higher than if you were in Omaha, Nebraska. But what about Portland, Oregon? Well, Portland is on the pricier side. It is 24% higher than the national average. Definitely less than NYC but a bit higher than Omaha.
Skill of the attorney
Another factor that comes into play is the skill of the lawyer. If your lawyer is a new grad, fresh out of law school, you’re probably looking at a lower fee. However, if you’ve hired the creme de la creme of prenup attorneys, someone with 10+ years of experience, who specializes in prenuptial agreements, you may be facing higher costs.
Basic finances versus complex finances will play a part in your cost. If you have basic finances, such as owning a house and a 401k, your lawyer will have less work to do. However, if you own multiple businesses, tons of real estate, and have various, diverse investment accounts, your lawyer will have more work to do by sifting through tons of finances to understand your situation.
What you want to do with your prenup (a.k.a., your prenup goals) will affect the cost. If you have basic requests, such as “keep it all separate” this will be easier to draft up for an attorney. But if you have a million requests and unique goals, your attorney may take more time in drafting the agreement.
How long it takes to come to terms with your partner also affects the price. For example, if you and your partner go back and forth for weeks on whether or not to add a sunset clause, this takes time. Time is money! On the other hand, if you and your partner come to terms with the agreement after a 10-minute phone call between attorneys, you’re in luck: fewer attorney hours will be billed.
Average cost of prenup attorney in Portland vs. alternatives
Let’s say you have basic finances, simple requests, and an average prenup lawyer in Portland, what will it cost you? If your attorney spends 1 hour on a consultation/Q&A session, 2 hours drafting the agreement, 6 hours on negotiations, and 2 hours reviewing with the client and finalizing, that’s a total of 11 hours. The average Portland attorney charges $263 per hour. Then, your prenup would potentially cost you about $2,893. This doesn’t include what your partner’s lawyer would charge.
Sound pricey? We totally understand. Enter: HelloPrenup. With HelloPrenup, you can get your prenup for just $599 per couple. Then, if you want to add on any legal services, such as a simple Q&A, contract edits, or full legal representation, you can also do that for a flat rate through HelloPrenup! The legal services cost $99 for a Q&A session, $199 for review and edits, and $699 for full legal representation. If you both want representation, then the absolute max you would spend as a couple is $1,997, or $998 per person.
The legal requirements of a prenuptial agreement in Portland
While we’re on the topic of Portland prenup attorneys, it is wise to discuss what actually goes into creating a valid prenup in PDX. You can’t just scribble down “I get the house, she gets the bank account” on a napkin and call it a day. There are certain requirements that go into creating a prenup that you need to do in order to have it considered valid by a court. (This is why prenup lawyers are important, they know what to do!).
To create a valid and enforceable Portland prenuptial agreement:
- The prenup must be in writing
- The prenup must be signed by both partners
- The prenup must be entered into voluntarily (not under duress or some other type of force)
- The parties provided fair and reasonable financial disclosure
- The prenup doesn’t include unconscionable terms
- If you waive spousal support, it wouldn’t result in the person losing out on spousal support to end up on public assistance
- The prenup doesn’t include terms against Oregon policy or laws
- See Or. Rev. Stat. Sections 108.700 to 108.740 for the fine print
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]