The short answer is, of course! We encourage the use of attorneys in conjunction with HelloPrenup’s platform. Lawyers can help answer your legal questions, provide legal advice, review your prenup, add clauses in (or take clauses out), and they can even represent you and sign your agreement as your attorney. All of these options are possible with a HelloPrenup prenup, and using both HelloPrenup’s platform in conjunction with an attorney’s services will save you money. Keep reading to learn more!
Can a lawyer review my HelloPrenup prenuptial agreement?
We’ll cut to the chase: yes, a lawyer can review your prenup. HelloPrenup’s platform allows you and your partner to do most of the work by asking you and your partner detailed questions that help generate a customized prenuptial agreement to meet your specifications. Our platform also allows you to negotiate any differences in answers with your partner where necessary. Easy peasy! Then, you just click a button and bam! A prenup is generated for you. Once you have a draft in hand, this is where a lawyer may come in, depending on your needs, preferences, and state law. At this point, you can engage a lawyer of your choice or choose one from our platform to review, edit, add clauses, or just simply answer legal questions for you. Voila!
Reasons why people may want a lawyer to review their prenup
So, why would someone want to get a lawyer if HelloPrenup creates a prenup for you? Seems redundant? Well, there are quite a few reasons this may be desirable to some couples:
Legal questions and/or legal advice
Couples may simply have legal questions or require some legal advice. HelloPrenup is not a law firm, so we cannot dispense legal advice. Maybe you’re wondering if an equalization clause (i.e., lump sum clause) is a good idea for your situation. To answer this question would be to give legal advice. Or maybe you really need someone to explain to you how alimony might work in your case. Another great question for a lawyer.
Prenup review / Gut-check
If you hire a lawyer for a prenup review, they may generally review the draft, give advice on your specific case, make suggestions or edits to the agreement, and address any concerns you may have. It’s important to clarify to your attorney what your expectations are for this engagement.
Prenup review with an attorney may be a good idea if you’re not sure what you’ve added to your prenup is sufficient for your specific circumstances. It may also be helpful if you want custom clauses added to your prenup.
Maybe you’re just a little uneasy with contracts and want a second pair of eyes on the agreement for a gut check. This is another common reason people consider hiring an attorney. You may not need to go full legal representation, but even a 1-hour review of the prenup may put your mind at ease.
Generally, states do not require that you have legal representation in order to create a valid and enforceable prenup. However, a few states have certain scenarios where legal representation is required. For example, California requires legal representation when waiving spousal support. If you waive spousal support in California, you need to obtain legal representation. If you do NOT waive alimony in California, you have the option of whether or not to retain an attorney.
Some people may want legal representation because they have a complex case. Maybe they have a lot of assets or require extremely nuanced clauses that are not yet offered by HelloPrenup.
Other people may want to obtain an attorney to help with negotiations. Maybe you simply want to avoid negotiating with your spouse, or you two are having a hard time coming to terms. Either way, legal representation can assist with negotiations.
Furthermore, if your prenup is ever challenged in the future (which can happen to any contract!), hiring a lawyer to represent you may help boost the argument that your prenup should be enforced. Again, it’s not always a requirement, but getting a lawyer won’t hurt you and, in many cases, can help your case if you ever go to court over your prenup.
What does “attorney signature” mean?
Sometimes, HelloPrenup and other attorneys across the nation use the phrase “attorney signature” or “no attorney signature.” If something is “with attorney signature,” this usually means that there is legal representation. If a lawyer puts their signature on your prenup, that is the same as saying they are legally representing you. If something is “without attorney signature,” it means that they are not representing you and may only be providing legal advice or edits.
If I still have to pay for a lawyer, why bother with HelloPrenup?
Because you will save thousands of dollars, HelloPrenup takes many hours of work off of an attorney’s plate by completing the draft and negotiations. Going to an attorney with a fully formed and negotiated agreement can save you thousands and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees. Without HelloPrenup, your attorney can rack up a lot of hours in consultations, meetings, drafting, and negotiations. That is all cut out with HelloPrenup. The lawyer’s main purpose for you after using HelloPrenup is questions, review, and/or legal representation.
Let’s use an example to demonstrate:
|Service||Hiring an Attorney With HelloPrenup||Hiring an Attorney Without HelloPrenup (Avg. Attorney’s Hourly Rate: $300/hour)|
|Consultation to discuss needs (1 hour)||$0||$300|
|Negotiations with partner (4 hours)||$0||$1,200|
|Drafting the agreement (4 hours)||$0||$1,200|
|Review the final agreement and answer any questions (1 hour)||$300*||$300|
|Total||One time fee of $599 for HelloPrenup
+ $300 to Attorney for reviewing and answering questions
*Disclaimer: This is just an example–your specific cost may look completely different depending on your location, the specific attorney, and the complexity of your case. Negotiations for you could take 20 minutes or 20 weeks. It really depends on you and your partner.
As you can see above, with HelloPrenup, much of the work is taken off the attorney’s plate. This cuts down on your overall attorney’s fees and can save you thousands!
Am I required to have a lawyer?
Most states do not require a lawyer in order to create a valid and enforceable prenup. However, there may be certain exceptions in different states that do require a lawyer. For example, California does not require a lawyer for prenups unless you waive alimony.
If your prenup is ever challenged in the future (i.e., your spouse files a claim stating it’s invalid), many states will look at whether or not you hired a lawyer as one piece of the puzzle to determine if the prenup was valid or not. However, hiring an attorney does not automatically make your prenup valid. It’s just one part of a bigger picture that a court will have to decide on.
How much will it cost to have a lawyer review my prenup?
This depends on your state and the lawyer you choose. Some lawyers offer a free 10 to 15-minute consultation. From there, you may be able to book what you need at a flat rate. For example, if you are only looking for a 1-hour Q&A session with an attorney, they may charge a flat fee. How much that flat fee is will largely depend on the state you’re in and the specific lawyer’s experience.
Is my prenup “more enforceable” with a lawyer?
Not necessarily. Prenups made by lawyers can get thrown out, too. Nothing in family law is set in stone, and decisions by a judge down the road are often made based on the specific circumstances at that time. Just because you hired a lawyer doesn’t mean your prenup is indestructible. If your spouse ever brings a claim in court arguing that your prenup is unenforceable, having a lawyer may help your case in certain instances.
The bottom line: hiring a lawyer is not a surefire way to ensure your prenup is enforceable, but it can help give you peace of mind and, in some cases, help if your prenup is litigated in a divorce case
Yes, a lawyer can review your HelloPrenup prenup. There are a few different reasons why someone may choose to hire a lawyer in conjunction with HelloPrenup. Even with using HelloPrenup and hiring an attorney, you will be saving yourself thousands of dollars in attorney fees!
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]