Beautiful coastal towns, seafood, sailing…yep, you guessed it. We’re in Rhode Island! If you’re from this beautiful state and you are getting a prenup, we’ve got some great information for you below. If you’re reading this right now, you’re likely engaged (or close to it) and wondering where the heck to start the prenup process. You may be wondering things like, “Do I need a lawyer for a prenup?” or, “How do I find one?” or maybe, “What is it going to cost me?” All valid questions that we’ve answered for you (and more) below. So grab your boat shoes and let’s sail into all things Rhode Island prenups.
Do I need a lawyer for a valid and enforceable prenup in R.I.?
First things first: do you even need a lawyer for a valid and enforceable prenup in Rhode Island? Whether you’re in Providence or Newport (or anywhere else in R.I.), a lawyer is not required. The Supreme Court of R.I. said it best, “…[T]he [Rhode Island prenup statute] does not require the presence of independent counsel as a condition for enforceability. . . nor has this Court ever required parties to a premarital agreement to be represented by counsel.” Marsocci v. Marsocci, 911 A.2d 690, 697 (2006). So, the answer is, no, you don’t need a prenup lawyer for a valid and enforceable prenup in Rhode Island!
However, with that said, a prenup lawyer can be very beneficial for several reasons, such as providing sound legal advice, offering custom clauses that meet your unique needs, and making sure your agreement complies with all the state requirements.
What does a prenup lawyer in Rhode Island do?
A prenup lawyer is your trusty guide through the world of prenups. They offer a helping hand from start to finish and make sure your agreement is rock solid and you feel confident entering your marriage protected. From answering your questions to offering moral support, a great prenup lawyer can do it all, while also fostering a stronger marital bond (not hindering it).
Provide legal advice
This one is pretty straightforward, a prenup lawyer will offer you advice. Legal advice is expert opinions on legal matters as it pertains to your situation. For example, “Should I waive alimony?” or “What clauses make sense for my situation?” are some of the ways a lawyer can provide you with legal advice.
Draft the agreement
Writing the contract, of course! Your prenup lawyer will write up your contract. If your partner’s lawyer drafted the agreement, then your lawyer will simply review it, redline it, and make sure the contract meets your needs. Either way, a prenup lawyer makes sure the agreement is state compliant and customized to you.
Negotiate the terms
If you and your partner aren’t on the same page regarding some of the terms in the prenup, a little negotiation may be in order. With an attorney, they will speak directly with your partner’s attorney to handle this. Good prenup attorneys know how to problem solve and not create a hostile environment, so don’t sweat this step!
Answer your legal questions
Once the prenup is all ready to go, you may have lingering questions. “How do I invoke this if we get a divorce?” or “Do we need to file it somewhere?” All of the last minute questions will be handled by your attorney with ease.
Finalize the agreement
Finally, it’s time to sign the document. Your attorney will make sure you follow your state’s requirements to signing the agreement. This may include witnesses and notaries, but don’t worry, they will make sure you understand exactly what you need to do.
How do you find a good prenup lawyer in Rhode Island?
If you’re ready to go ahead and start your search, great! But where to begin? Well, we always recommend starting your search by asking around. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc., etc. Getting a recommendation from someone you trust is a surefire way to snag an awesome attorney. You know they’ve been tested out and you can feel comfortable paying their fees.
If you don’t know of anyone who’s had a good prenup lawyer before, your next best bet is checking out your local bar association. Here is Rhode Island’s bar association website. There, you can reach out to the R.I. bar association’s various referral services. They can assist you in finding a quality prenup lawyer licensed in R.I.
Not your thing? Don’t worry, you can still utilize Google, of course! Try Googling terms like “Rhode Island prenup lawyer near me” or “R.I. family law attorney.” Just make sure to check out their online reviews from past clients. Also, check their website to make sure they actually do prenups!
Rhode Island prenup requirements
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the prenup requirements of Rhode Island:
- Put the agreement in writing and make sure both parties sign it! (R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-17-2)
- Make sure both parties sign the agreement voluntarily, and
- Both parties were provided fair and reasonable financial disclosure, and
- The prenup is not unconscionable, and
- If a waiver or modification of spousal support would require one spouse to seek public assistance, a court may strike that clause. (R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-17-6)
Don’t forget: make sure to NOT include any matters about child support in your prenup. A Rhode Island court will not enforce child support clauses in a prenup. (R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-17-3).
How much does a prenup in Rhode Island cost vs. HelloPrenup?
Ahh, the question you’ve all been waiting for: how much will it cost? Dun, dun, dun. Okay, kidding aside. Let’s face it, lawyers are not cheap. A Rhode Island prenup is typically going to cost you at least a couple thousand dollars. For example, the average R.I. attorney charges $240/hour. Let’s say you have a simple set of finances and basic prenup requests. That may take your lawyer around ten to twelve hours to complete. Say, one hour of consultations, four hours of drafting, four hours of negotiations, and three hours of finalizations. This comes out to about $2,880 ($240/hour x 12 hours). Now, keep in mind, that’s just an estimate and it could be lower or MUCH higher, depending on your lawyer’s cost and your situation.
On the other hand, HelloPrenup offers a state-compliant prenup for just $599 per couple. You can get your prenup done and download it same-day. The HelloPrenup platform gives you back the driver’s seat to take control of the prenup process. You’ll begin with our dual-party questionnaire where both parties fill out their information and desires for the prenup. Then, there will be a negotiation phase where you two will need to discuss any discrepancies in your answers. Finally, it’s time to download and sign! And voila! You’ve got yourself a prenup.
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Get on the same page with a prenup.
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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]