Generic Prenup Template and Online Prenup Services – Should You Use Them?
For many couples, a prenuptial agreement – or prenup – is a great idea. No matter what your financial situation may be, a prenup can be a good way to protect your assets in the event of a divorce. This legally-binding contract can also be tailored to your situation, like determining in advance who will get the dog if your marriage ends.
In recent years, there are some new websites that offer online prenup templates or online prenup services. These sites can be tempting, as they often cost less than consulting with an attorney. Unfortunately, using one of these templates or sites can often cost you far more money in the long run when they have to be litigated in court.
At Infinity Law Group, we represent individuals and couples in the Boston metro area on a range of family law matters – including prenuptial agreements. For each of our clients, we work hard to help them achieve a legal solution that meets their specific needs – and helps them to avoid expensive legal disputes whenever possible.
The Rise of Prenup Templates, Generic Prenups & Online Prenup Attorneys
Nowadays, most people turn to the internet when they have a question that needs to be answered or a problem that needs to be solved. In many ways, the internet is a great resource and makes our lives easier and better. But there are times when relying on the internet can be a bad idea.
This is particularly true when it comes to legal services. Today, there are dozens of sites that offer everything from wills and leases to patents. Some sites even offer the opportunity to consult with a lawyer.
Online legal services – including for prenups – are often cheaper than hiring your own attorney. One survey (conducted by a site that provides online legal services) found that many people are willing to use an online legal service or template specifically because it would save them money. After all, it certainly is less expensive to buy a generic template and fill in your own information instead of paying someone to draft something for you.
But keep in mind that these cost savings are possible for a reason: you are not getting high quality legal services that are personalized to your unique needs. This can lead to any number of problems, from documents that won’t hold up in court to improperly filed legal documents to recurring fees. For this reason, using online prenup services or generic prenup templates is rarely a wise choice.
Why You Should Avoid Online Prenup Services
There are many reasons why generic prenup templates and online prenup templates are a bad idea. The most important reason is that these agreements often do not stand up to legal scrutiny. This often leads to a far more expensive court battle over the terms of the agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are allowed in Massachusetts. But in order for a prenup to be enforceable, it must be properly drafted under Massachusetts law and be fair and reasonable at the time of signing and enforcement. A key example of when a prenup might not be enforceable is when it contains an invalid provision, such as waiving or modifying child support.
A prenup may also be deemed unenforceable because:
- It isn’t in writing;
- One party was under duress or was coerced to sign it;
- It is not fair and reasonable when it was signed or at the time of the divorce (the second look); or
- The parties did not provide full and fair disclosure of all financial information.
When using a generic template or online legal services for a prenup, the risk of it being struck down is greatly increased.
If your prenup isn’t valid, then it can cost you a lot more money to litigate the terms of your agreement. While you may have saved money upfront by downloading a prenup template, those savings can quickly be outweighed by attorneys’ fees when there is a dispute over the terms of the agreement. By contrast, a well-drafted prenup written by an experienced Boston prenup attorney is far less likely to be challenged because it conforms with Massachusetts law.
For this reason, using online legal services or a generic template for your prenup may give both parties a false sense of security. You and your spouse may think that you are protected by a prenup – but if it isn’t enforceable, then it isn’t worth the paper that it was printed on during a divorce.
Some online legal services give you the opportunity to talk to an attorney, ask questions, and have your prenup reviewed by a legal professional. However, under ethical rules, these types of arrangements typically do not create a lawyer-client relationship. As such, the attorney that you talk to typically has no obligation or legal responsibility to you. In other words, if your prenup doesn’t hold up in court, you probably don’t have any recourse against the site or the lawyer.
By contrast, when you hire a Boston prenup lawyer, you will have an attorney-client relationship. They will listen to you, and work with you to draft a prenuptial agreement that meets your needs and conforms to Massachusetts law. Your attorney will make recommendations based on your unique situation, and draft a legally-binding prenup that protects both you and your soon-to-be spouse.
Contact Us for Cost-Effective Family Law Solutions in Boston
Paying for a lawyer can be a burden for many people. But if you want something done correctly – such as a prenuptial agreement – then your best bet is to retain a skilled attorney rather than relying on generic templates or online legal services.
Infinity Law Group represents clients in and around Boston, Needham and Quincy MA on all types of family law matters, from prenups to divorce to child custody and support. We work hard to keep costs low, with a goal of avoiding expensive court battles whenever possible. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Boston prenup lawyer, give us a call at 617-250-8236 or fill out our online contact form.