If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you are curious about prenuptial agreement attorneys and you live in Texas. Well, you’re in luck, because this article will tell you all you need to know. What prenup attorneys in Texas do, why you should hire one, what makes a prenup attorney “good,” the average cost of one, how to find one, and finally, some important cases about prenups in Texas. Let’s dive in!
What does a prenuptial agreement attorney do?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what a prenuptial agreement attorney does. For example, when you hire a prenup attorney, are you also hiring a divorce attorney? Nope! Some prenup attorneys don’t even do divorces. However, if your prenup lawyer does divorce, you can hire them down the road if you end up getting a divorce. Now, let’s talk about what your prenuptial agreement attorney will do once you hire them.
- Consultation and legal advice
First, your attorney will do a meet-and-greet to get to know you. Then, they will sit down and formally ask you a bunch of different questions about your finances, prenup goals, and marital goals. During this session, your prenuptial agreement attorney will take in all the information they need to draft the agreement to meet your needs. They may also provide legal advice. For example, you may wonder if you should keep your future inheritance separate or community property. This would be a great question to ask your attorney, and they will provide you with legal advice.
- Draft the agreement
Then, of course, your lawyer will draft the agreement. Usually, attorneys will have a prenuptial agreement template they work off of and will edit and add clauses as they pertain to your goals.
- Q&A and legal advice
Once the draft is complete, the lawyer will send it over and probably conduct another session with you to explain it. You can ask questions and your lawyer will provide legal advice. For example, you may wonder, “What does this death clause mean and how does it apply in real life to me?” Your lawyer will likely explain the implications as applied to your specific situation (a.k.a. Legal advice).
It’s also quite likely that you and your partner will require some negotiation unless you agree on every last term. Negotiations are healthy and normal in creating a prenuptial agreement because they ensure both parties are getting something they want out of it. Your prenuptial agreement lawyer will handle this part for you.
- Review and finalize
Once negotiations are done, all that’s left is to review the negotiated contract and finalize it. You may have additional questions about new clauses that have appeared due to the negotiations. Then, you’ll need to finalize it, which includes signatures and notarization. While Texas doesn’t technically require notarization, many Texas prenup attorneys will still recommend it as an additional layer of protection.
Why hire a prenuptial agreement attorney?
If you are on the fence about hiring a prenuptial agreement attorney, you may wonder what are some benefits to doing so. We provide a few good reasons to hire a prenup attorney below.
- Peace of mind
Sometimes, forking up the cash for a good prenup attorney can be totally worth it for the financial peace of mind when entering a marriage. Having an attorney to answer your questions, tailor a prenup to your goals, and give you best practices can be super helpful for some people!
- Knowledge of the law
Doing a prenup without a lawyer (unless you are using HelloPrenup, of course) can be tricky. Texas prenup laws are dense and there’s a reason lawyers spend years and years studying! A prenuptial agreement attorney has an abundance of knowledge of prenup law. They can help create a prenup that is compliant and has a higher chance of being enforced. (Note: just because you hired a lawyer doesn’t guarantee your prenup will be enforced, it just may increase your chances).
- Provide best practices
A prenup lawyer has seen it all. They’ve had couples in their office of all different backgrounds and ages. If you’re wondering if you’re unique in your situation, there’s a good chance you’re not. Your lawyer can advise you on your situation. You might wonder, “Should I add a death clause?” “What about spousal support?” Your lawyer can help you navigate these difficult topics and offer the best practices and what other couples tend to do so you can make the best decision for yourself.
What makes a prenuptial agreement attorney “good?”
When you’re searching for a prenuptial agreement attorney in Texas, do you just pick the first one you see? How do you find a “good” one? While being a “good” lawyer can be somewhat subjective, we’ve provided a few traits that we think qualify someone as a good prenup lawyer.
Having a background in mediation certainly isn’t necessary to be a prenuptial agreement lawyer, but it’s definitely a good bonus. This type of background and experience can bring effective communication and conflict-resolution skills. Getting a prenup should focus on marriage, not on conflict and divorce, so hiring someone with these skills is “good” in our opinion.
This one is pretty obvious, but worth bringing up. A lawyer with ten years of experience is not the same as a lawyer with one year of experience. Someone with ten years or more has seen it all–and they can likely help get you an ironclad prenup faster and more efficiently than someone with one year of experience.
A focus on your marriage
Hiring a lawyer who talks a lot about bolstering your marriage is a good indicator of a high-quality prenuptial agreement attorney. Remember, when you are getting a prenup you are focusing on strengthening your marriage, not creating conflict.
Some family law attorneys practice many different areas of family law, such as divorce, custody, child support, adoption, and more. Someone who is probably a pretty high-quality prenuptial agreement attorney will only practice one area: prenups. However, this is not to say that you can’t find a good prenup attorney who also does other things.
What is the average cost of a prenuptial agreement attorney in Texas?
As you can imagine, the cost of a prenuptial agreement attorney will vary, based on several different things. For one, what area are you in? If you are in somewhere pricier, like Austin or Dallas, a prenuptial agreement may cost more than, say, a prenuptial agreement attorney in Marfa. In addition, different lawyers charge different rates. Someone who has one year of experience is likely to charge less than someone with 20 years of experience.
In addition, your situation plays a part in the price, as well. If you have complex finances, it will take your attorney much longer to read through your financial documents than someone with basic finances. If you have a ton of intricate requests for your prenup, this can also take up more of your attorney’s time, costing you more. Don’t forget about negotiations. If you and your partner have lengthy negotiations, going back and forth for days or weeks, this can rack up the charge, as well.
With those factors in mind, let’s break down what the average cost of a prenuptial agreement attorney might cost in Texas. In 2022, the average hourly rate of a Texan attorney was $313. If you have low needs, basic finances, and minimal negotiations, your attorney might take around 10 hours to get your prenup done. This might include a one-hour consultation, six hours of drafting, two hours of negotiations, and one hour of finalization. That would put you at about $3,130 for a prenuptial agreement in Texas. Keep in mind, that this is just an estimate. This number can easily fluctuate based on your situation, the lawyer you hire, and the city in Texas you live in.
You can easily obtain an estimate of the cost from a prenup lawyer by booking a free 15-minute consultation with them. They will analyze your case and give you an hourly rate or a flat rate estimate.
How to find a Texas prenuptial agreement attorney
Whether you live in San Antonio or Houston, there are some tried and true ways you can find a prenuptial agreement attorney near you.
- Ask around
Ask your neighbor, your BFF, your cousin, or your coworker if they have any experience with a prenup lawyer who is licensed in Texas.
- Go online
Checking websites like Avvo is a great place to start, it’s an online directory filled with hundreds of lawyers. You can even filter by location (Texas), and by specialty (family law). On Avvo, you can even check out previous clients’ reviews of the attorney.
Don’t forget about trusty old Google. Try searching for things like “prenuptial agreement attorney Texas” or “prenup lawyer near me.”
You can even get creative and try posting on Reddit seeking out recommendations from strangers online. You can check out the Texas subreddit or Ask Lawyers subreddit to see if anyone has a lawyer for you.
- Texas State Bar Association
There is a page on the Texas State Bar Association in which you can search for Texas-licensed attorneys in your area. You can filter by your exact location and specialty (family law).
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]