Does a prenuptial agreement have to be notarized?

In general, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties to be considered valid. Neither party can be under any sort of duress when making the agreement, and it must essentially be fair. Even the timing of the execution can affect whether it is ruled to be valid or not. If there is any suggestion that the wealthier spouse waited to "spring" the agreement on the unsuspecting spouse, it may be ruled to be invalid and customary property distribution laws would apply.

Although they are legal in most every state, many judges are still very unfriendly toward prenuptial agreements. For that reason the parties should take every precaution to make certain it is properly drafted with all the elements that show each party was represented by their own attorney and was fully informed regarding the terms, provisions and consequences of the agreement. An ideal agreement would incorporate the names of their respective counsels perhaps by their being witnesses or each signature being notarized by the their respective counsels.