Does a prenup have to be notarized to be legal? 5 Answers as of April 27, 2011

My husband and I signed a prenuptial agreement when we married 4 years ago, completely separating our income, property and assets. We each consulted an attorney, and it was drafted by his attorney. We never had it notarized. Is it legally viable? My main concern is protection from his business liabilities.

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Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Your prenuptial should be notarized in order to be effective. However if the attorneys also signed the documents as witnesses, the agreement should be effective and binding.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
It is a viable contract.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Yes, a prenup is enforceable even if not notarized. A notarization is merely evidence that the persons whose signature appears on a document is in fact that person, in the event such person claims that is not their signature.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
It is not mandatory that a Prenuptial Agreement be notarized, although acknowledgments before a notary public are the norm on Prenuptial Agreements. The purpose of the acknowledgment is twofold: 1) to ensure that there is proof that the person who signed the Prenuptial Agreement is the person who signed the Prenuptial Agreement; and 2) to enable the Prenuptial Agreement to be recorded by the County Recorder (which is rarely done, because people typically want to keep their Prenuptial Agreements and their Disclosure Attachments private). Only were your husband to claim that the signature purporting to be his on the Prenuptial Agreement isn't his, would there be a problem, which could nevertheless be resolved by a handwriting expert and/or by deposing the attorney who signed the certification by attorney on his behalf.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/26/2011
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP | Hal D. Bartholomew
A prenuptial agreement does not have to be notarized to be valid. Often, they are notarized, so there is no question that it was actually signed by the parties. Assuming, that neither of you are contesting the validity of the agreement it should be legally viable. I am also assuming that the consulting attorneys signed the agreement confirming that you and your husband agreed to and understood the terms of the prenuptial agreement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/26/2011
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