Launching into marriage is like setting sail on your most exciting adventure yet, but hey, even love boats need a map! In this case, the prenup is the map and the New Jersey prenup lawyers are the “pirates” who made it. Okay, enough with the corny analogies, let’s talk about prenup lawyers in the Garden State. Do you need one? How much do they cost? What do they even do? We discuss the answers to all of these questions (and MUCH more) below, so keep reading.
What is required for a valid and enforceable NJ prenup?
What does one need to do in order to create a prenup that will stand in a New Jersey court? Well, for starters, put your prenup in writing. No verbal agreements, please! They won’t be upheld in NJ. Secondly, make sure you both sign it. No signatures, no prenup. Third, make sure that both parties disclose their finances and attach it to the agreement. This is known as financial disclosure and is incredibly crucial to a New Jersey prenup! Fourth, make sure both people are entering into the agreement voluntarily. That means entering into the prenup without the existence of duress or coercion. Fifth, and finally, do not include unconscionable terms in the prenup (i.e., extremely unfair terms).
Do I need a lawyer in NJ for a prenup?
We spoke with New Jersey prenup lawyer Richard Sanvenero, and he explained:
Can my partner and I share an attorney?
No! In New Jersey, (and all other states), you must each have your own attorneys, you cannot share one. Why? Because sharing an attorney makes it really difficult for that lawyer to advocate for both people at the same time. For example, if one person wants to waive spousal support, but the other person wants to keep it in, how can the lawyer properly advocate for both people’s needs at once? It’s near impossible! Hence, why you both need your own attorneys, if you choose to hire one.
How much does a NJ prenup lawyer cost? (Plus a cheaper alternative!)
We’ll give it to you straight–hiring a prenup lawyer isn’t cheap! The cost of an attorney can vary depending on lots of different factors. To begin with, the cost of living in the area you are getting a prenup will play a role. In New Jersey, the cost of living is 13% higher than the national average. This means it’ll likely cost you more for a prenup lawyer in NJ than it would in Montana, where the cost of living is much lower.
Another factor that affects the price is your needs and your finances. If you have trust in your financial portfolio, that may entail the lawyer reading through a ton of pages of financial paperwork. This can take hours to do. The more hours an attorney spends on your case, the more they will charge. On top of that, if you have intricate needs for your prenup, it may entail more customizations and time spent by your lawyer in drafting those.
Alright, so what’ll it cost ya? The average attorney in NJ costs $330 per hour. If you have basic needs and finances, your prenup may take around 11 hours to complete (e.g., 2 hours Q&A, 2 hours of drafting, 4 hours of negotiations, 2 hours of review, and 1 hour of finalizing). With this rough estimate, it would cost you about $3,630 for a prenup in NJ. Remember, this doesn’t take into account what your partner would spend for their own attorney.
We also ran this question by prenup lawyer Richard Sanvenero, and he told us:
“In my experience, prenups have ranged anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars that will dictate whether the attorney will be drafting the agreement from scratch or whether we will be reviewing a prepared prenup.”
Luckily, with HelloPrenup, you can slash that price down by over 75%. HelloPrenup offers you and your partner a New Jersey-compliant prenuptial agreement for the cost of $599 per couple. That’s it. You technically don’t need to hire a lawyer, but you can always add one on for a smaller fee than if you had hired an attorney from the start. For example, you can hire legal services to simply answer a few legal questions. This would be much cheaper than hiring a lawyer to do the prenup from start to finish.
What does a prenup lawyer do?
So you’re shelling out quite a bit of money for a NJ prenup lawyer, but what are you actually hiring them for? Well, for starters, let’s talk about what they DON’T do. When you hire a prenup lawyer, you are NOT hiring a divorce lawyer. Many people think you have to use your prenup lawyer as your divorce lawyer, but that’s simply not the case. Now, you technically can hire them in the future if they specialize in divorces, but you can worry about that later (if ever). With that misconception out of the way, let’s dive into what prenup lawyers do.
We asked an actual New Jersey prenup lawyer, Richard Sanvenero, what prenup lawyers do. He said:
“A prenup lawyer can be any lawyer who has an understanding and knowledge to appreciate the law and apply the law to your personal situation. I am fortunate to be certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a matrimonial attorney. This allows me to be in the 1% of all family attorneys based on my knowledge and skill set. Keep in mind that choosing the right attorney can be a game-changer for your rights to be protected and the ultimate cost of the legal service provided.”
Explain the law and your options
Prenup lawyers are probably the best people on Earth to explain the legal concepts surrounding prenuptial agreements. And if you hire a New Jersey prenup lawyer, they will be the experts in New Jersey prenups. Remember, every state has different prenup laws, so what flies in NJ, may not fly in other states. That’s why it’s important to hire someone in NJ for your NJ prenup.
Draft up your agreement
A prenup lawyer will custom make your prenup according to your finances, goals, and needs. They will ask you tons of questions to help understand what you want to do with your prenup. Based on your answers, they will create a prenup that is tailored to your unique situation.
Hiring a NJ prenup lawyer can help you create a prenup that meets your custom needs but it’s not mandatory!
While you can definitely appreciate the value of having a prenup lawyer in your corner, it’s important to recognize that it’s not always an absolute necessity (legally speaking) in New Jersey. Engaging a prenup attorney offers so many benefits, including the ability to customize your prenup to align perfectly with your unique goals, handle negotiations on your behalf to spare you those potentially awkward conversations with your partner, and ensure that your prenup fully complies with New Jersey state laws.
However, we understand that hiring a lawyer may not always be within your budget or align with your preferences. This is where HelloPrenup steps in as a practical alternative. With HelloPrenup, you can craft a prenuptial agreement that is state-compliant without incurring the substantial costs associated with retaining a lawyer.
But wait, there’s more – you can even explore a hybrid approach. Start by utilizing HelloPrenup to create the initial draft of your prenup, and if you ever have legal questions or simply want minor adjustments to the agreement, you can enlist the expertise of a New Jersey prenup lawyer for legal guidance and fine-tuning. This way, you get the best of both worlds: affordability and the assurance of legal compliance, all while tailoring your prenup to your unique needs and circumstances.
You are writing your life story.
Get on the same page with a prenup.
For love that lasts a lifetime, preparation is key. Safeguard your shared tomorrows, starting today.
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]