Here are five simple steps to signing the halachic prenup (or postnup), which will take only fifteen minutes of your time!
You will need:
Two hard copies of the halachic prenup or postnup
A black pen
Husband-to-be and Wife-to-be
A notary public
1) The Document: The halachic prenup recommended by ORA is a four-page legal contract:
The first two pages are the terms of the contract.
Please note that the gray colored boxes on page 1 are optional. If signed, they give authority to the Beth Din of America to arbitrate financial and/or child custody disputes. We recommend consulting with your rabbi and an attorney before signing the optional section/s.
Page 2 is where the couple and their witnesses sign the document
page 3 contains the notarization forms
page 4 is an instruction sheet.
Prenup and postnup forms can be found here.
Please note that you should sign the halachic prenup before signing your civil marriage license. If you have already signed your civil marriage license, you will need to sign a halachic postnup instead of a halachic prenup. Additionally, since the halachic prenup is a legally binding document, it must be signed when the couple has the opportunity to read it over and accept its terms. Therefore, we strongly discourage signing the prenup on the wedding day and instead encourage couples to sign the halachic prenup well in advance of the wedding day.
2) Signatures: Both the bride and groom must sign the prenup. Each one fills out his/her information on the top of page 1; initials on the bottom of pages 1, and signs on page 2. The groom and bride do not need to sign the document simultaneously. However, they both need to sign in the presence of two witnesses and a notary public, as explained below.
3) Witnesses: The signatures of the bride and groom must be witnessed by two people. The witnesses sign on page 2 underneath the signatures of the groom and bride. The same two people can witness both signatures or up to four people may serve as witnesses (i.e. two for the wife and two for the husband). The witnesses may be male or female.
4) Notary Public:
(A) The signing must take place in the presence of a notary public (a state official who can attest to the signing of important documents). A notary public can usually be found in banks or law offices. The notary public will request photo identification from the husband and wife. ORA has notaries public on staff who are available to notarize halachic prenups and postnups in our New York office. To make an appointment, please visit www.getORA.org/signing-the-prenup.
(B) In New York State, the rabbi officiating at the wedding may act in place of a notary public. Remember, we strongly encourage couples to sign the halachic prenup in advance of their wedding day to ensure that it remains legally enforceable.
5) Copies and Prenup Registry: We recommend that you keep two original signed copies: one for the husband and one for the wife. Additionally, a copy should be scanned and uploaded to ORA's Prenup Registry. All copies of the prenup/postnup which are uploaded to our registry are also forwarded to the Beth Din of America so that they have a copy on file as well. You can access ORA’s prenup registry at www.getora.org/prenup-registry or email it directly to prenup@getORA.org.