I was recently contacted by a woman who wanted me to certify that a prenuptial agreement that she filled out and printed from the internet contained all the information that would make it valid. The prenuptial agreement, aside from the fact that it was generic and from the internet, was only 2 pages long. I respectfully told her that the prenuptial agreement was not worth the paper that it was printed on.
The issue with online prenuptial agreement forms is that no one ever sat across from you to gather information and to counsel you on the validity of the prenup. The reason why prenuptial agreement lawyers charge the fees that they do is because they are giving you something that a computer program cannot – independent and personal legal advice.
A couple of quick reasons why the prenuptial agreement this woman called about would not have been valid is that it was too short to contain any financial information about the parties. Both parties in a prenuptial agreement must trade detailed and complete financial information. Secondly, in a generic prenup, there would not be any discussion of the “section 34” factors that is required here in Massachusetts to be in a prenuptial agreement. There is specific case law in Massachusetts that requires this and a non-state specific prenup would not have this.
If you’re going to spend the time and money to draft a prenuptial agreement, spend it wisely and don’t print one out online.