Typical cost for pre-nuptial or community property agreement?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

A couple of questions.

First, can two individuals in a marriage or domestic partnership in a community property state essentially "sign away" the community property law rules? In short, can two people sign a simple agreement basically saying that they agree to keep all income and property as separate property EVEN DURING the marriage? My guess is that this is almost akin to a prenuptial (or postnuptial) agreement in many regards. You're basically keeping incomes and property separate even if you're living in a community property state. Of course, some limited assets would be shared when agree to.

Also, how much does a normal and simple prenuptial (or community property agreement) usually cost? My guess is that a rather typical format would be little work. $300? $500? $750? More?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Richard Forrest Gould-Saltman

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . 1. Yes, it can be done.
    2. The most critical requirements for a valid premarital agreement are complete disclosure of both parties' finances, and a clear understanding of the effect of such an agreement by both parties. You need to hire a competent experienced family law attorney to do this agreement properly, and if it's not done right, you will spend much more in attorney fees fighting over the validity in the event of a divorce. Price should NOT be the only consideration, and this is NOT a do-it-yourself project, (unless, as in my case, you're a family law lawyer who married another family law lawyer).

  2. Michael Charles Schwerin

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . Possibly. Depends on the facts. Each party's education, work experience, earnings, age, etc.. All of the factors will determine whether or not the court will find the agreement unconscionable at a later time. Pre-nups are in the $1500 to $3000 range for most, depending on what is included. A lot of specialized provisions may even make it cost more than that. And. both sides need separate lawyers.

    Michael Schwerin, San Jose, California phone: 408-295-4232 email: schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees,... more
  3. Regina Powers Hunter

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It varies. Legalzoom.com offers a template for $695.

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