“Sooo ya thinkin’ ’bout gettin’ a prenup in Minnesota, don’tcha know?” Okay, enough with the Minnesota accent jokes, we’re here to talk about prenuptial agreement attorneys in the beautiful state of Minnesota. Why should you hire one? Are they required? Can my spouse and I use the same attorney? How do we find one? These are just some of the questions we answer below, so keep reading to learn more!
Why hire a prenuptial agreement attorney in Minnesota?
Can’t I just write my own prenup? All I want to do is keep our stuff separate, how hard can it be? What’s an attorney going to do for me? We get it, you have straightforward prenup needs and you’re wondering why you need to spend all this money on a lawyer. Spoiler alert: you don’t necessarily have to, and that’s where HelloPrenup comes in. But hiring a lawyer has many benefits, which we lay out below.
- A prenuptial agreement lawyer can answer legal questions for you
If you want legal advice or have legal questions, a lawyer is the best person on the planet for that. They have seen it all and can offer you information about the law, best practices, how the law will affect your life, and what they have seen other couples do in your situation.
- A prenuptial agreement lawyer can add a layer of protection to your prenup if it is ever challenged in court
Virtually all states allow you to get a valid prenup without hiring legal representation (with some exceptions). However, many states also say that having a lawyer increases your odds of enforceability. In other words, having a lawyer decreases the chance that your spouse can challenge the prenup down the road.
- A prenuptial agreement lawyer can provide peace of mind
If you were to just write the prenup yourself on a napkin, you probably wouldn’t have the same warm, cozy feeling you would after getting a formally drafted prenup by a lawyer. Granted, there’s clearly a huge price difference, but some people would argue the peace of mind is worth the penny.
Are lawyers required for a prenup in Minnesota?
Virtually all states (with some exceptions) do not require legal representation for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and enforceable. However, many states, like Minnesota, say that the opportunity to obtain a lawyer is required. Meaning that if you had enough time and resources to hire an attorney, but chose not to, that’s okay, but you need at least the opportunity to hire one. In other words, most states, including Minnesota, don’t require a lawyer for a valid prenup, but having the opportunity to get one is required. (See Minn. Stat. Ann Section 519.11).
Confused still? Let’s use an example to demonstrate. John and Barbara are planning to get married next month. Both John and Barbara are in their second marriage and they are both independently wealthy (they are both millionaires). John presents the prenup to Barb three months before the wedding. Barb decides not to get a lawyer. In this case, it’s likely that Barbara had plenty of time (three months) and plenty of money (she’s a millionaire) to find a lawyer. In other words, she had the opportunity to get a lawyer but chose not to get one.
Can we use the same lawyer for one prenup in Minnesota?
No. In no state can you use one lawyer for both parties to a prenup, including Minnesota. You need to obtain separate counsel (a.k.a. If you are hiring attorneys, you need to hire two). This is a basic legal principle that is well established in many states, not only Minnesota. The reasoning behind it is that one lawyer cannot adequately represent the interests of two people who are in opposition to one another. For example, if the husband wants to keep his inheritance separate, but the wife wants to have a portion of it in the event of a divorce, how could one lawyer possibly advocate for both people at the same time? It’s in direct conflict with one another. Hence the need for two attorneys or none.
Some people may ask, “Can I use an attorney and my partner not use an attorney?” (or vice versa). The answer is probably, but in practice, it’s not likely. Most attorneys won’t work with a client whose partner doesn’t also have an attorney as it can potentially create an argument for unfairness if one person had a lawyer and the other didn’t.
How do we find a prenuptial agreement attorney in Minnesota?
Now that you understand more about prenup attorneys in Minnesota, let’s talk about how you can go about finding one.
Step 1: Ask your people
Call up your BFF, your cousin, your 3rd-grade teacher, your coworker, or anyone else in your network who has used a Minnesota prenup attorney before. Remember, not all divorce attorneys do prenups, so make sure you ask them if they did a prenup for them.
Step 2: Use online resources
Google, Avvo, and the Minnesota Bar Association Lawyer Directory are great places to find lawyers. The internet is a wonderful place. You could even get creative and make a few posts on Reddit to find prenup lawyer recommendations in your Minnesota city.
Step 3: Check their specialties
Not every family law attorney will do prenups. This is why you should check on the attorney’s website to see what services they provide. Make sure “prenuptial agreements” is one of them.
Step 4: Vet customer reviews
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: the internet is a wonderful resource for you. You can find online customer reviews and read through what other previous clients have to say about your potential prenup lawyer.
Step 5: Do a test run
When in doubt, test them out. Many Minnesotan prenup attorneys will offer a 10 to 15-minute free consultation where you can ask a few basic questions and get a feel for the attorney. If you hate their vibe, you can move on to the next one. Or, if you feel comfortable, you can move forward with a legal engagement.
What is considered a high-quality prenuptial agreement attorney?
When you’re looking for a prenup lawyer, what exactly are you looking for? Do you just pick the first lawyer that pops up? Well, you can, but if you’re looking for a “good” one, then we’ve got some tips for you.
- Look for someone with a mediation background
Lawyers who have experience in mediation tend to have skills in effective communication and conflict resolution. These things are excellent tools to have while creating a prenup, as you do not want to create a conflicting environment, but instead, a collaborative environment.
- Look for someone with at least ten years of experience
This one is pretty straightforward–someone with ten years of experience is likely more versed in prenup law than someone with one year of experience. Take that with a grain of salt though because not all veteran lawyers are better than the newbies.
- Look for someone with a focus on marriage
You want to hire someone who cares about the longevity of your marriage, not someone looking to facilitate a divorce. Entering into a prenup should be about strengthening your marriage, not about planning for a divorce. Look for someone with this mindset.
- Look for someone who specializes in prenuptial agreements only
Some family law lawyers practice every area of family law: divorce, custody, child support, adoption, domestic violence, appeals, etc. You want to find someone who specializes in prenuptial agreements, as they are more likely to be a higher quality prenup attorney. Not always, but there’s a good chance.
Cost Comparison: Attorney vs. HelloPrenup in Minnesota
The typical cost associated with a prenuptial agreement in the United States averages around $2,500. However, this is just an estimate, you can get a quote much higher than $2,500 if you have complex finances, intricate needs, have lengthy negotiations, and/or live in a high-cost-of-living area.
Now compare the standard cost of $2,500 (or more) of utilizing a traditional lawyer with the expense associated with HelloPrenup, which is a mere $599 per couple. By utilizing HelloPrenup’s user-friendly platform for crafting prenuptial agreements, you stand to save a remarkable $1,900+. The rationale for choosing an online platform over a traditional attorney is this: it provides a more cost-effective solution, streamlines the process, and empowers you to take direct control of your prenup-making process.
Getting a prenup in the land of lakes (Minnesota that is) is like finding someone who likes hockey, pretty simple, especially with the HelloPrenup platform available in the state of Minnesota now!
If you’re going the route of hiring a lawyer the traditional way (i.e., not using HelloPrenup), there are simple tricks to finding a “good” one, which include using online resources such as the Minnesota Bar Association and looking for one that has a focus on marriage. Simple as pie, eh?
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]