Notarizing divorce papers is a way of ascertaining that the documents are authentic, the signature is genuine, and wasn’t signed by a person under intimidation or coercion. Not only is the identity of the person signing them certified, but it also shows that the document can be trusted. In a legal process such as separation or divorce, notarization of documents is necessary.
For you to notarize your divorce papers, you’ll need to work with a licensed divorce notary public. It’s quite easy to locate a local or mobile notary public near me as the majority of law firms, banks, insurers, shipping companies like UPS, military bases, local courthouses, and real estate departments employ notaries who can handle divorce papers. Besides, your divorce lawyer near me will likely refer you to a few rotaries they’ve worked within the past. Once you find a divorce notary public, you’ll have to provide the documents for them to see and verify.
Divorce forms that need to be notarized
Before going to see the notary public, it would be better to compile all the paperwork that’s due to be notarized. If you aren’t sure which papers should be notarized, then search for papers that have a notary block. This notary block is a blank space at the very end of a document that has room for the signature and seal for the notary public. Some forms, however, come with a notary certificate instead of the notary block. Remember, you shouldn’t sign these forms beforehand as the notary needs to witness the signing to notarize the document.
While a divorce lawyer near me can inform you on which forms need to be notarized, here are the most common ones:
Divorce petition papers
When a person files the initial divorce complaint, it will first need to be notarized before it can be served to the other party. This will prove that this person has decided to file for divorce on their own accord and that the information provided on the divorce papers is correct.
At the onset of your divorce proceedings, you’ll probably need financial affidavits that list incomes, assets, debts, and budget needs. These affidavits are instrumental when the judge wants to determine matters such as alimony, child support, etc. It is, therefore, important to have such documents notarized.
Response to a divorce petition
If your spouse has served you with divorce papers and you wish to submit your answer with the court, you’ll need to have that notarized too.
Marital settlement agreements
If both of you choose to pursue an uncontested divorce or collaborative divorce, you’ll need to submit a settlement agreement to the court. Following this, the agreement will have to be notarized to prove to the court that both of you agree to the terms as laid out and that you signed the agreement at your own will.
Getting your divorce forms notarized
Having your divorce forms notarized is relatively easy. All you need to do is locate a notary public in your area and avail the forms.
Proof of identity
When you visit your notary public, remember to carry along a photo ID. For your divorce papers to be notarized, the most critical thing the divorce notary public will ask is to prove you’re the person you are claiming to be. Any type of photo ID card issued by the state will work at this stage. If the forms need to be signed by both you and your soon to be ex, both of you need to go to the notary public together with your photo IDs.
Once everything is in order, the notary public will go ahead and review the divorce papers just to make sure you know what you’re about to sign. Afterward, the notary will also confirm that you’re not being coerced into signing the documents by anyone, before proceeding to sign the documents.
Witness of your signature
The current notarization requires you to sign and date the documents in front of a rotary. If you sign them in front of any other person, the rotary isn’t allowed to certify them anymore. Similarly, certifying your spouse’s signature will require them to be physically present. A notary public, therefore, plays a crucial role in the divorce process.
Once your signature is certified, your rotary will go ahead to sign and date the papers and acknowledge that they were present as you signed the papers. A stamp or embossed seal will then be used to mark the end of the process. You can now deliver the divorce documents wherever they need to go.
Sometimes, this process will depend on whether your spouse has filed for a response, hasn’t responded, or you’re contemplating a written agreement. Notarization of divorce papers just depends on the type of paperwork that’s required.