You and your partner are about to start your hike on the Appalachian Trail, ready to enjoy some fresh Virginia air together. You bring along an old-school guide map (just in case you don’t have an internet connection on your phone while you are hiking). The map may seem insignificant, but having it as a precaution ensures your safety just in case the internet doesn’t work. A prenup is similar– it will serve as a backup guide for you and your partner in any scenario life throws your way. Whether there is tricky terrain or it’s a smooth journey, the prenup will be there for you and your assets.
A prenup is a document that you obtain before you tie the knot. It should focus on how both parties will divide assets if ever needed, along with many other financial and non-financial topics. Let’s dive into the trail of prenups in Virginia!
Average Cost in Virginia for Prenup Lawyers
Did you know Virginia’s cost of living is just a smidge above the national average? And that’s even before you factor in housing (4% higher) and utilities (2% higher). So, brace yourselves – legal services here may cost a little extra.
Now, when hiring a prenup lawyer, you’ve got some options to mull over. It’s like choosing between hiking trails – you can go the hourly rate route, where you pay for the time spent gathering info and crafting your prenup. Or you can opt for the flat-rate adventure, where you know the cost upfront. The average cost for lawyers in Virginia can range from $173-$430/hr. We asked our friend Steven Krieger, a local Virginia Attorney, who told us, “There are plenty of Virginia attorneys, especially northern Virginia, which is just outside of Washington D.C., that charge more than $430/hour.”
Your assets and your lawyer’s experience play a big role. If your financial situation is more complex, your lawyer may need extra time to put it all together. Simple assets and basic prenup requests? That could mean a quicker prenup drafting session.
Now that you’re all familiar with the basics, join us on the next leg of this journey, where we’ll talk about the pros and cons of prenup lawyers. But don’t worry. We’ll start with the cons so you can end your hike on a high note!
How to find a Virginia prenup lawyer
Let’s make finding a prenup lawyer in Virginia as easy as a stroll in the park! First, let’s clarify one important point – prenup lawyers are not the same as divorce lawyers. They’re like different branches on the legal tree, each with their own unique set of skills. Now, onto the exciting part – finding your prenup lawyer!
One speedy way to put together a list of prenup pros is by using Google. Just type in “Prenup lawyers located in Virginia” (you can even get city-specific, like “Prenup lawyers located in Richmond, VA”), and voila, you’ll have a treasure trove of legal gems at your fingertips. Alternatively, you can explore legal directories that specialize in Virginia lawyers, such as Justia and Avvo.
Remember to tap into your network! Ask close family or friends who’ve already ventured into the prenup territory. They can share their experiences, and recommend a lawyer they trust, which can be a real-time-saver.
Once you’ve got your list and have done your legal detective work, you can set up those all-important consultations. And most lawyers offer a free 15-minute consultation, like a sneak peek into your legal adventure.
What does a Virginia prenup lawyer do?
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what happens once you’ve found your prenup lawyer. First, the consultation – your chance to have a heart-to-heart with your lawyer. During this meeting, you’ll share your prenup goals and financial landscape. The lawyer will throw some questions your way to understand your unique circumstances better. It’s also your opportunity to decide if this prenup lawyer is the right fit for your journey.
Once you’ve chosen your prenup lawyer, you’ll have an initial meeting. In this session, your lawyer will help you plan your prenup objectives, dive into financial discussions, and answer any burning legal questions you might have.
But here’s where teamwork kicks in – your lawyer and your partner’s lawyer discuss the prenup terms to make sure both parties are satisfied. Once everyone’s on the same page, it’s time to put pen to paper, and your finalized prenup is ready to be signed by both parties.
Do I need a Virginia prenup lawyer?
As our local VA attorney, Steven Krieger, says, “Virginia does not require a party to have an attorney for a prenup to be enforceable, but it’s certainly a best practice — especially if there are complicated or significant assets and/or debts that you’re trying to keep separate.” In other words, a prenup lawyer ensures a smooth journey through the complexities of a prenup. And, remember, you and your partner cannot share the same attorney, as that would be considered a conflict of interest.
What makes a prenup legally binding in Virginia?
First, Virginia doesn’t require a prenup lawyer, but it is beneficial to have someone who can ensure that your prenup is legally accurate. A prenup has to be a written document that both you and your partner sign willingly, and it only comes into play once you tie the knot. Your prenup should be fair and reasonable, covering stuff like property rights, spousal support, and what happens with wills or trusts. And don’t worry; there’s a whole list of what you can include in the Virginia Premarital Agreement Act.
In the world of Virginia prenups, there’s a golden rule – they can’t be unfair. In a 2022 VA case, Remillard v. Remillard, the Court determined that a couple’s prenup was unenforceable because it was unconscionable due to the unfair and unreasonable nature of the terms. So, what makes a prenup unfair and unreasonable, you ask? The couple failed to fully disclose their assets before they fully finalized the prenup.
Bottom line? Fairness and full disclosure are your trusty trail companions to keep your prenup on the right side of the law. Remember, the goal is a fair and reasonable prenup that you both willingly sign. Transparency is key, and it’s like walking a well-marked trail.
HelloPrenup cost vs. Virginia lawyer cost
Let’s get down to the numbers. Everyone’s favorite topic, right? We’re diving into the cost comparison between a Virginia prenup lawyer and HelloPrenup!
The average hourly rate for a VA lawyer is about $304 per hour. Now, let’s say you’ve got a straightforward financial situation and prenup goals that are simple as pie. You’re possibly looking at 11 hours of legal work (something like 2 hours of one-on-one sessions, 3 hours of drafting, 4 hours of negotiations, and 2 hours of finalizing). Crunch the numbers and the estimated total for your Virginia prenup clocks in at $3,344 ($304 x 11 hours).
But hold onto your hats because here comes HelloPrenup! At HelloPrenup, we offer a state-compliant prenuptial agreement package for a mere $599 per couple – that’s right, just $599 for your entire prenup agreement. And for those of you craving a bit of legal wisdom along the way, we’ve got optional attorney services available for an extra fee. Check if we’ve got an attorney available in your state!
Navigating prenups can feel like embarking on an adventure filled with twists and turns as you discuss various terms with your partner. But fear not! For prenups are your trusty trail guide, here to support you through the ups and downs of marriage and, if ever needed, a separation. Remember, you can always utilize a VA prenup lawyer. These legal professionals will help add an extra layer of protection to your prenup.
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.
Kajol Raju is a Legal Writer at HelloPrenup. She is originally from the Bay Area but currently resides in MA. Kajol graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology. Later, getting a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law. She has experience in legal technology and international human rights law. She has a background working in a family law firm and enjoys helping those who need resources and information.