Do Divorce Papers Have To Be Notarized? Yes in 9 Easy Ways

Do divorce papers have to be notarized? When initiating the process of legal separation or divorce, you may encounter a myriad of questions concerning legal procedures and requirements. One common query often arising in such circumstances is whether divorce papers need to be notarized. This article aims to clarify this question, guiding you through the divorce process’s intricacies and notarization’s role in ensuring its legality and smooth progression.

do divorce papers have to be notarized

Do divorce papers have to be notarized?

“Why should I notarize my divorce paper?”

Yes, divorce papers must be notarized for them to be considered legally binding. Notarizing your divorce paperwork is an important step in the process of finalizing your divorce. By notarizing your documents, you attest that the information on the documents is accurate and true and that both parties involved have consented to all terms included in the agreement. 

Divorce papers may need to be notarized depending on the type and jurisdiction to ensure their validity and authenticity. Notarization is when a notary public, a state-appointed official, verifies the identity of the person signing the document, ensures they are doing so willingly, and attests that the information provided is accurate. This process adds a layer of protection against fraud and false statements during divorce proceedings. 

A notarization aims to ensure the authenticity of the document and verify that all parties involved in signing it are who they say they are. When both husband and wife sign off on divorce papers, this process helps prevent one party from trying to claim later that they were unaware or uninvolved in accepting the terms of the agreement. 

Notarizing a document also safeguards against fraud or potential identity theft issues by ensuring all parties involved can provide acceptable proof of identification. Ultimately, attaining a notary’s signature serves as an additional verification form for an already legally binding document—in this case, your divorce paperwork—and should be obtained before submitting any materials to your state courts or other local organizations for approval. 

It’s important to note each state may have different requirements when it comes to filing something with them so always double-check with your local court house ahead of time as some states require additional steps like having witnesses present when filing paperwork concerning family law matters such as those related to divorce proceedings.

Which Divorce Forms Need to be Notarized?

In most states, various divorce documents must be notarized. Some ordinary notarized divorce papers include:

1. Divorce complaint or divorce petition: You may file for divorce first or responder, this is the initial document filed by the party seeking to dissolve the marriage. It contains the grounds for divorce, information about the parties, any children involved, and requests for relief such as child custody, spousal support, and property division. Notarizing this document confirms that the person filing the petition is doing so voluntarily and attests to the accuracy of the information provided.

2. Financial affidavits: Both spouses must submit financial affidavits during the divorce process. These documents detail each party’s income, assets, debts, and expenses. They are critical in determining spousal support, child support, and property division like houses on both or single names. Notarizing financial affidavits helps to prevent parties from concealing assets or underreporting income, ensuring the court can make accurate decisions regarding financial matters.

3. Marital settlement agreement or property settlement agreement: If the spouses reach an agreement on issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody, the agreement may need notarized. Notarization ensures that both parties voluntarily enter the agreement and understand its terms.

4. Supporting documents: Additional documents such as child custody plans, real estate deeds, and pension documentation may also require notarization. Depending on your state’s requirements, documents requiring witnessing or acknowledging signatures may need notarization.

Consult your state’s laws and attorney regarding your divorce documents’ specific notarization requirements. Some states may have specific provisions or requirements for using public notaries in divorce proceedings. Failure to have the necessary documents notarized can result in delays or complications in the divorce process. Sometimes, the court may not accept improperly notarized documents and might require refiling.

How to Get Divorce Papers Notarized?

Getting divorce papers notarized involves a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  • Identify the documents: Determine which divorce documents need to be notarized. These may include the divorce petition, settlement agreement, financial affidavits, and any other legal documents required by your jurisdiction.
  • Locate a notary public: Find a licensed notary public in your area. Notaries can be found at banks, law offices, courthouses, government offices, and some UPS or FedEx stores. You can also search online for local notary services. You may ask how to find a notary public. Search in your local area or use Google.
  • Gather identification: Bring valid photo identification to the notary’s office. A driver’s license, passport, or government-issued ID will suffice.
  • Appear in person: Both parties involved in the divorce (if required) must appear in person before the notary. This is to confirm your identity and willingness to sign the documents.
  • Sign the documents: Sign the divorce documents in the notary’s presence. Do not sign them beforehand, as the notary needs to witness your signature.
  • Provide information: The notary may ask for basic information about the documents you’re signing and your understanding of their content. This is to ensure that you are signing voluntarily and without any undue influence.
  • Notary’s signature and seal: The notary will sign the documents and affix their official seal. This seal confirms that the notary was present during the signing and that the parties were identified correctly.
  • Pay notary fees: Notaries often charge a small fee for their services. The fee can vary depending on location and the number of documents being notarized.
  • Receive notarized documents: Once the notary process is complete, you’ll receive the documents with the notary’s signature and seal. These notarized documents can now be submitted to the court as required.
  • File with the court: Submit the notarized divorce documents to the appropriate court as part of your divorce proceedings. Depending on your jurisdiction, there may be additional filing requirements.

Remember that notarization is a legal process, and following all guidelines and requirements in your jurisdiction is essential. Suppose you’re unsure about the necessary steps or documents notarising. In that case, it’s recommended to consult with your attorney or a legal professional to ensure the process is completed correctly. I think this video will help you understand the total process at a glance:

FAQs on Do Divorce Papers Have To Be Notarized

Can divorce papers be notarized separately?

Yes, divorce papers can be notarized separately. A notary serves as a witness for the individual signing the document, verifying that the signer is who they claim to be and is signing the agreement freely and voluntarily.

Regarding documents related to divorce or other marital issues, such as child custody or alimony orders, some states require both parties of the marriage to sign separate documents which are each independently notarized for them to be legally binding. Other states may allow one document with signatures from both parties where either signature can be properly notarized within a single form. Check with your state’s laws to determine what type of documentation is required and how it should be handled when filing for a divorce.

If you live in a state where two separate documents need to be signed by each party before being verified by an authorized official, then yes — those papers can still be notarized separately so long as all necessary steps are taken ahead of time. In most cases, this will involve having at least one spouse present while the document(s) being signed are witnessed with an authentication stamp issued by a Notary Public or other qualified professional witness (such as an attorney). 

The witnessing process varies from state to state, but this has become commonplace due to its ability to prove that every possible effort was made towards ensuring legal accuracy and adherence among all involved parties during this eventful time in any couple’s life journey together.

How much does it cost to get divorce papers notarized?

The cost of notarising divorce papers can vary greatly depending on the document and location. Generally speaking, the cost for a basic notarization service is between $5 and $15 dollars; however, some states may require that both parties be present for a document to be notarised appropriately, which could increase the total fee due. Additionally, certain documents may require additional services, such as witnessing or authentication stamps, which will further increase the cost of notifying your divorce papers. 

In most cases, you can expect to pay between $20-$75 dollars for all services related to having your divorce paperwork officially signed and sealed by a Notary Public. It’s important to note that in addition to any fees charged by a Notary Public, you may also need to pay court filing fees to obtain an official copy of your finalized divorce papers for record-keeping purposes

Can you notarize divorce papers online?

No, you cannot notarize divorce papers online. Notarization of any document requires the physical presence of the person whose signature is being notarized and their legitimate identification documents in front of a notary public. According to the American Bar Association, “[n]otaries are prohibited from certifying or attesting a copy of a divorce decree without a personal appearance before them,” meaning that you must be physically present for your documents to be notarized properly. 

The primary role of a notary public in cases such as these is to act as an impartial witness and verify the identity of both parties involved. Being physically present when signing makes it much more difficult for either party to dispute or challenge the validity or authenticity of signatures at some future date. 

What is a notarized divorce?

A notarized divorce is obtaining a legal and binding divorce with the assistance of a notary public or a notary. A Notarized Divorce is an official court ruling rooted in state law that dissolves your marriage and declares both parties legally single. Under state laws, the court must find that grounds for the dissolution exist before it can enter its final order terminating your marriage.

Throughout this process, you will generally need to work with your spouse to complete all necessary documents and sign them properly before an authorized third party (the Notary). The Notary then witnesses each signature before officially signing off on any agreement regarding marital property division, child support payments, and other relevant matters on your relationship as spouses. 

How long are notarized divorce papers valid?

Divorce papers are notarized to authenticate both parties’ signatures and to warrant that it has been properly witnessed. In the US, typically, these divorce documents stipulate that they remain legally valid and enforceable for up to five years from the date of signing and proper execution.

That said, depending on your state, certain divorce decrees may be longer-lasting or non-renewable, so consider your local rules during the divorce proceedings.

It is also worth noting that if either party engages in activities that violate the divorce decree, such as failing to deliver alimony payments or breaching a property agreement, then a notarized document can still be enforced in court even after its expiration date.

Consequently, abiding by all terms outlined in court is essential to ensure that your actions remain within legal boundaries.


Notarizing divorce documents is a crucial step in the divorce process. It provides proof that you have voluntarily entered into an agreement, understand its terms, and ensure that all signatures are authentic and valid.

Furthermore, some states may have specific notarization requirements for divorce proceedings, so consult your state’s guidelines and attorney. Taking the time to notarize your divorce documents properly can prevent delays and help ensure the court accepts your divorce.

About Shakir Ahmed

Head of the editorial team. I hold a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from UoL. Written hundreds of articles on divorce, child custody, employment and other human rights law topics for blogs and websites worldwide. Worked 6 years as a relationship development trainer. For any communication regarding any legal matter, please feel free to email me at

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