Welcome to 2023, where AI is just beginning to take over the world and transform the way we work, communicate, and even make decisions. As our reliance on AI continues to grow, people are exploring new and innovative ways to leverage this technology, including in legal matters such as prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups. DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend using AI for your prenup without the review of a real, licensed attorney.
However, there may be some benefits to using AI for a prenup whether you are a client or a lawyer. If you are a client, remember, AI is no substitute for real legal advice. Without further ado, let’s dive into the intersection of AI and prenups, exploring the possibilities, limitations, and ethical considerations involved.
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
First, let’s talk about prenups. They are contracts that couples enter into before marriage, outlining the distribution of assets and responsibilities during the marriage and in the event of divorce and sometimes death. Traditionally, these agreements are drafted by lawyers who consider the unique circumstances and desires of each party involved, combined with the applicable state law. The primary aim of a prenup is to provide clarity and fairness as to various marital affairs, thereby avoiding future conflicts.
Things you can include in your prenup might be property distribution, alimony, debt division, joint bank accounts during the marriage, etc. Plus, depending on your state, you can even non-financial matters like pet ownership, infidelity, insurance, engagement ring ownership, and more.
How AI Might Be Used for a Prenup
AI has the potential to streamline and enhance various aspects of the prenuptial agreement process. Here are some ways in which AI might be used in the making of a prenup:
- Automated Document Generation
First and foremost, AI can play an important role in the actual creation of the prenup. In other words, it has the capability to generate the specific language required for the contract. This concept involves providing the AI with relevant information about your situation, and in turn, the AI would generate a draft containing various clauses to form a comprehensive contract, i.e., a prenup.
For example, you could instruct the AI by telling it, “I want a prenup that keeps all property separate and waives alimony,” along with providing a complete list of your financial details. Subsequently, the AI tool might produce a contract incorporating specific clauses to ensure the separation of both parties’ finances and the waiver of alimony. Bear in mind, that while this may seem foolproof, it’s important to understand the potential issues with this, as we discuss in more depth in the next section.
- Legal Research
AI may be able to expedite the legal research process for lawyers who are looking for case law or statutes regarding prenups. For example, if there is new case law on prenuptial agreements, a lawyer might utilize AI to summarize the main takeaways of the legal opinion. Non-lawyers may also use this to help them understand different statutes and cases. For example, a non-lawyer might use ChatGPT to explain a particularly dense prenup statute in simple, non-legal terms.
- Clause Analysis
Non-lawyers and lawyers alike may be able to use AI to weigh out different clauses and the pros and cons of such. For example, AI may be able to review a person’s finances and goals and determine what are the best clauses for to include based on the database of information it has available. It may also be able to provide an analysis of each clause. This can also assist lawyers in advising their clients on the most favorable terms. For example, asking AI to explain the advantages and disadvantages of waiving alimony. Again, we don’t recommend seeking legal advice from AI, as there are limitations to its expertise unlike a real-life lawyer.
- Prenup Review
AI may be able to review an existing prenup for inconsistencies, typos, errors, and possibly even legal inaccuracies. The ideal scenario would be to input the entire prenup into the AI tool and have it review it as a whole and then give a full, detailed analysis of any issues. For example, inputting your prenup and asking the AI to review the prenup for inconsistencies. This may be beneficial for both lawyers and non-lawyers alike. But, again, the AI tool is no substitute for a lawyer and it is still best practice to use a real-life attorney for legal review of a contract.
Limitations and Considerations
While AI can offer valuable support in the creation and review of prenuptial agreements, it is also important to recognize its limitations:
- Lack of Emotional Understanding
Prenups are inherently personal documents that can trigger different emotions in different people. These emotional and relational aspects of such agreements often require human understanding and empathy. For example, you can express to an attorney that you feel stressed and worried about the prenup for XYZ reasons and an attorney can relieve your worries with best practices, experiences, and legal expertise. This is not really possible to the same extent with AI.
- Customization Issues
Prenups are not a one-size-fits all document. What works for one couple may not work for another couple. AI may not be able to fully customize an agreement to a couple’s very unique situation, as it may be limited in its data or capabilities. For example, one couple may need their house to be split 50/50 in a divorce, but their bank account split 10/90, and their car split 30/70. Compare that to another couple who may want to keep everything separate or 50/50. It may be difficult for AI to understand who needs what and to be able to provide customized results.
- Legal Expertise
AI tools (at their current capability) are not a substitute for the legal expertise provided by experienced attorneys. While AI can assist with certain aspects, the final review and customization of prenuptial agreements should always be conducted by legal professionals.
- Ethical Concerns
The integration of AI technology in the realm of prenuptial agreements brings forth a spectrum of ethical concerns that merit careful consideration. For starters, there may be privacy concerns as people will be inputting sensitive information into the system. Making sure this information is handled carefully may become an issue. Secondly, informed consent. Users of AI may not fully comprehend what AI is doing with their information and may not be able to provide coherent, informed consent.
Third, AI algorithms may pose significant issues with bias. It may create prenups that are not fair based on the information it was previously given. Fourth, there may be ethical issues surrounding accountability with AI. What happens when there are errors? Who bears the responsibility? Fifth, AI may require ongoing human involvement based on AI’s current shortcomings.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to AI and Prenups
Q: Is a prenup written by AI legal?
A: If a prenup written by AI follows all the legal requirements for a prenup laid out by your state, then, yes, it should be enforceable, but it’s not a guarantee. There is no current case law discussing this issue to date and the outlook on this area of law is still forming.
Q: Can I use ChatGPT to make a prenup?
A: The answer is likely no, but it’s not impossible. If ChatGPT is able to craft a prenup that meets your unique needs and is also compliant with state law, then you might be able to create an enforceable ChatGPT prenup. However, there is no current case law in this area, so this is still up for debate in the legal world.
Q: How can I use AI to create an enforceable prenup?
A: The best way to do it at the moment would be to input as much information as possible into the AI tool (finances, prenup goals, etc.) and then bring the AI-generated document to a lawyer for review. If the lawyer puts their stamp of approval on it, then you may have yourself an enforceable prenup.
Q: How much detail do I need to provide to AI to get an accurate agreement?
A: Just like with a real lawyer, you would need to provide the AI tool with as much information as possible. That includes all of your assets, debts, income, inheritances, etc. and the value of each. Plus, all of your goals for the prenup, like whether or not you want to waive alimony. In other words, the more details, the better.
The Bottom Line
The integration of AI into the realm of prenuptial agreements holds promise for efficiency and accuracy. However, at AI’s current functionality, it is still crucial to hire an attorney to review anything you ask AI to do. With that said, it is likely that AI will play an increasingly significant role in supporting legal professionals and individuals in navigating the complexities of prenuptial agreements in the near future.
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]