Why did the Omaha couple sign a prenup? Because it was steak-proof! Okay, jokes aside, let’s talk about prenups and prenup lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska. Also, for those of you who don’t know, a “prenup” is a cute little nickname for a “prenuptial agreement” which is simply a contract between two people who are about to get married to lay out their financial wishes should they ever get a divorce. Do you need a prenup lawyer in Omaha? Can my partner and I share a prenup lawyer? What does a prenup lawyer even do? We’ll answer these questions and much, much more below, so keep reading!
What does a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Omaha do?
You might wonder what you are paying for when you hire a prenuptial agreement attorney. That’s a great question. Usually, when you hire a prenup lawyer, you aren’t necessarily hiring a divorce lawyer. That is a separate venture and you can cross that bridge if it ever comes. A prenup lawyer usually just does your prenup. Now, if you want to hire your prenup lawyer down the road for a divorce, you might be able to (if they are available and if they specialize in divorce). Now, let’s talk about the different ways a prenup lawyer can help you.
Answers legal questions
Curious as to whether or not you should waive alimony in your prenup? What even IS alimony, anyway? What would happen if we waived it? These are all questions you might ask your prenup lawyer, and they can provide you with best practices, explanations of the law, and suggestions for your specific situation.
Drafting your agreement
As expected, when you hire a prenup lawyer, they will draft your prenup, of course. How they draft your prenup will depend on what you told them in your meeting. They will ask you plenty of questions, review your finances, and create an agreement that matches your specific goals.
Negotiate with your partner’s lawyer
A prenup lawyer will take on the negotiations with your partner’s lawyer. This takes the burden (and awkwardness) off of you and your partner. Since prenups are meant to bolster a marriage, not deteriorate one before it even starts, negotiations should be very cooperative.
Help finalize and make sure you’re compliant with the law
Each state has its own requirements for finalizing and completing a valid and enforceable prenup, such as having signatures, certain language in the contract, notarization, and/or witnesses. In Nebraska, it’s pretty straightforward: you need to put the prenup in writing and include signatures. (See Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 42-1003). Notarization and witnesses are not required, but getting it notarized doesn’t hurt!
Do I need a lawyer for a valid prenuptial agreement in Omaha?
Nope. You do not need a lawyer to create a valid and enforceable prenup in Omaha, Nebraska. It is often mistakenly believed that you need a lawyer to validate your prenuptial agreement, but that’s not the case. In some states, there are certain situations in which a lawyer becomes necessary, but the default rule is that no lawyer is necessary to create a valid prenup. Having a prenup lawyer has its benefits, though, don’t get us wrong! There are many reasons to hire a prenup lawyer, including getting sound legal advice, ensuring compliance with the law, and having some peace of mind.
Can my partner and I use the same attorney for our prenuptial agreement?
No! A lawyer cannot represent two people who are parties to the same contract. Think about it this way: a lawyer can really give their all for just one person at a time. If they’re trying to juggle two folks at once, there’s bound to be a point where they have to pick one over the other. For example, let’s say Spouse A really wants to waive alimony (i.e., not pay alimony in a divorce) and Spouse B really wants to keep the option for alimony (i.e., they may want to ask for alimony one day). How could one lawyer argue both sides? They would have to pick one person’s side and then advocate for that person only. Not good! You and your partner each need to get your own, separate attorneys.
Prenuptial agreement requirements in Omaha, Nebraska
What goes into a prenuptial agreement in Omaha, Nebraska, anyway? Do you need to eat an Omaha steak before you sign your prenup to make it valid in Nebraska? Kidding, of course. Nope–it’s fairly straightforward. Here are the validity and enforceability requirements you need to follow in Nebraska:
- Put the prenup in writing
- Have both partners sign it
- Make sure both parties voluntarily sign the agreement (and not under some type of force)
- Make sure both parties provide fair and reasonable financial disclosure
- Do not include provisions that are against Nebraska’s public policies or laws
- Avoid unconscionable terms (i.e., extremely one-sided terms)
- See Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 42-1003 and Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 42-1006 for the fine print
Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) and Omaha Law Explained
You may have heard of the UPAA, but what does that have to do with Nebraska law? Well, the UPAA is a standard guideline laid out for the states to adopt (or not adopt, it’s up to the state) in order to create consistency across the U.S. as it pertains to prenups. The guideline includes things like putting the prenup in writing, making sure both parties sign it, not enforcing a prenup that was not voluntarily entered into, and more. Well, 26 states have adopted the UPAA in some way, shape, or form, including Nebraska. Nebraska adopted their version of the UPAA way back in 1994. In other words, the laws in Omaha, Nebraska surrounding prenups are based on the UPAA’s guidelines.
Important prenup case law in Nebraska
Mamot v. Mamot: What is considered “voluntary” in Nebraska?
As you may have read earlier in this article, a requirement of an enforceable prenup in Nebraska is that both parties need to enter into the prenup voluntarily. This case tells a tale of what Nebraskan courts consider voluntary or not.
A wife was presented with a prenup a few days before her wedding and the husband stated that if she didn’t sign it there would be no wedding. At this point, the wife had already made arrangements for guests and paid money for the wedding. Do you think she voluntarily signed this agreement?
The court said no, it was not voluntarily signed. The court explained that it’s reasonable to believe she felt she had no choice but to sign it. In just a matter of days, she was expected to find an attorney to review it and potentially cancel a wedding if she didn’t like its terms.
The takeaway: the court said this prenup is not enforceable because the wife was coerced into signing. Moral of the story? Give you and your spouse enough time between the signing of the prenup and the wedding so they can obtain a lawyer if they want! Also, make sure you and your partner feel as though you have a choice in signing the agreement, not coerced to do so.
The average cost of a prenup lawyer in Omaha
So, what can you expect to pay for a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska? Well, it depends. There are three main factors that come into play when it comes to pricing out a prenup lawyer. (1) Cost of living in your area will affect how much an attorney charges; (2) The complexity of your case; and (3) The length of negotiations.
Cost of living in Omaha
Let’s talk about how much it costs to live in Omaha and what the average attorney charges. Yep, you guessed it–Omaha is affordable. In fact, it is 7% lower than the national average cost of living. That means, most attorneys in Omaha are going to charge much less than your average attorney. The average hourly rate of a Nebraskan attorney is $219 per hour.
The complexity of your case
Do you have basic finances, say, you have a bank account and you own a home? Do you have basic prenup requests, such as “keep it all separate?” If that sounds like you, the complexity of your case is probably fairly low. On the other hand, if you have a robust financial portfolio, with businesses, investments, debt, multiple accounts, and intricate requests for your prenup, you may be on the complex side. The more complex it is, the more money you’re likely to pay.
If your lawyer is spending hours and hours in negotiations with your partner’s attorney, you’re going to face higher attorney bills. In other words, the more you and your partner go back and forth on what terms to add, the more money you will be spending on your prenup lawyer.
Flat vs. hourly fees
Most Omaha prenup attorneys charge an hourly fee for their services. However, you may be able to find some that charge a flat fee. This can give some people peace of mind knowing exactly what they’re getting into. However, it’s harder to find this option because of the variability in customers’ needs.
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]