Notarizing a Prenuptial Agreement – Mandatory or Not?
A prenuptial agreement is a document that is usually made before or at the very beginning of a marriage, with the purpose of producing effects in the division of assets. The prenuptial agreement is a very common practice and it mostly comes into effect at the time of legal separation or divorce proceedings.
Its purpose is to have the spouses/future spouses agree on a certain division of assets, prior to the potentially conflictual situation that may arise at the time when a marriage falls apart.
Looking at a few prenuptial agreement samples would be a good idea, as it serves the purpose of giving you a peek into what a prenuptial agreement looks like.
There are many free prenuptial agreement samples or templates online to look at and help you decide if any of them are suitable for you while saving on the extra cost of a prenuptial agreement. Engaged people often face the predicament of signing up the prenup.
Looking at sample prenuptial agreement can help you decide if this is an option that works for you or otherwise. Alternatively, there are also several do it yourself prenuptial agreements that provide both pre-marriage and living together agreements that you can customize easily.
An online prenup will save a lot of time and money. A prenuptial agreement online covers situations where both parties have either already taken independent legal advice or where both have decided not to take any legal advice.
This also answers the question, “how to write a prenup without a lawyer?”
However, make sure that you and your spouse are equally voluntary about signing up a prenuptial agreement. For instance, according to the prenuptial agreement in Texas, a prenup is legally unenforceable if either of the spouses didn’t sign it voluntarily.
It would also be helpful if you check out a few “how to write a prenuptial agreement” checklist. Also, do some research and go through some notarized agreement guidelines.
How much does a prenup cost?
There is no simple answer to the question, “how much does it cost to get a prenup?” The factors that influence the prenuptial agreement cost are the location, reputation, and experience of the prenup attorney and the complexity of the agreement. Often interested parties want to know, how long does it take to get a prenup.
It depends on the clients and their issues. Often a couple just needs to get a form agreement and have it completed in less than an hour.
Benefits of a notarized prenup a the start of your marriage
Wondering how to get a prenup? Making the prenuptial agreement with the help of an experienced prenup lawyer, at the very beginning of a union is most recommended since it ensures that the parties reach an agreement.
It helps to make future separation proceedings easier, at a time when an agreement on financial aspects would otherwise be very difficult to imagine.
That is not to say, however, that having a prenuptial agreement completely eliminates any conflicts regarding the division of assets. Though disagreements often arise, it still helps in making this transition more straightforward.
One of the premarital agreement issues that come up quite often regarding the correct and valid conclusion of a prenuptial agreement, is whether a premarital agreement needs to be notarized by the spouses in order for such agreement to become legally binding and to produce effects. In other words, is the notarization of a prenuptial agreement mandatory for its validity?
The short answer is no. The premarital agreement is not a notarized document, therefore there is no per se obligation to notarize it. However, this does not mean that the agreement is not notarized in certain situations.
For instance, whenever the prenuptial agreement, in dividing assets between the spouses, also refers to a real estate property transfer, having the document notarized is highly recommended.
In addition, given the scope of the notarization process of prenuptial agreement form, notarizing a premarital agreement also helps in making it more difficult to challenge its validity later on.
The notary public witnesses the direct signing of a document verifies the identity of the signers and tries to notice any red flags suggesting that the parties are not acting under a free will or in their right capacity.
If a document is concluded before a notary public, it becomes increasingly harder for one of the signers to claim at a later time that he/she wasn’t present during the signing, that he/she was forced or incapable of consent.
Therefore, while not mandatory, notarization is encouraged when getting a prenup. If spouses notarize the prenup, it will most likely be binding in court and produce the intended effects.
Although it is unlikely to successfully occur, the contesting of a signature leads to longer divorce proceedings and causes delays in the personal and financial status of the spouses. Adding an element of conflict to an already difficult and contentious process causes even more tension and strain in a relationship that is already troubled.
A common query is, will a notarized agreement hold in court? The answer is, it carries a reasonable amount of weight and maybe persuasive in the court of law, but it is not something you can completely depend upon.
What can happen in the absence of a notarized prenup
Not having the prenuptial agreement notarized could open the door for one of the spouses to try and ignore or circumvent the aspects agreed upon initially regarding financial rights, expectations, or demands. Contesting the identity of a signer is one of the ways to ensure that the agreement is rendered useless.
The strategies could be endless. One of the spouses could try to obtain more assets in the divorce than he/she is entitled to, in contrast, try to deny the other spouse rights already agreed upon. This is when the divorce becomes a battle of wills and lawyers.
In conclusion, based on the numerous advantages that the notarization of a prenuptial agreement, we recommend this added layer of protection. In regards to the obligations of the notary public in performing his/her notary duties, we emphasize the need to carefully handle and protect the notary journal.
It may be used, at some point in the future, as proof that the notarization has taken place, years after the signing of the prenuptial agreement when the time comes to enforce its provisions.
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