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Is a signed, notorized paper legal and binding? Husband is signing off that wife is solely responsible for children's education.

Parsippany, NJ |

I live in New Jersey and might be moving to New York. I am looking to get 100% of rights to make all educational "decisions" for my children as I was a teacher for over 10 years and my husband is a Peter Pan with a side of selfish. My husband agreed to sign a notorized paper indicating that I am "solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to [children's names] education" I want this to be binding if we divorce. My son is classified, educationally, and I don't want my children's education to become an avenue for my husband to toy with to get back at me.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You may wish to consider drawing up a consent order, having both parties sign that and submit it to the court to be filed/entered. That way your agreement will have the same enforceability as any other court order in NJ.

    This response is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. This response does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response provides general legal information and education. This response does not address any specifics concerning this inquiry, as the inquiry as written may have omitted details which would make the reply unsuitable. The inquirer is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in his or her own state to acquire more information about this issue. Licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


  2. I definitely agree with Ms. Sdeo. A consent order signed by a judge is far more effective to give you that authority than a notarized letter. Or you may even try and have the father sign a consent order giving you sole legal custody which would give you even more authority (such as for medical care).

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  3. Yes, what you propose is binding. It is better if signed by both and best if done the way my colleagues have explained. What are you agreeing as to payment for the education, however? Decision-making and paying agreements do not have to be the same.

    Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


  4. It appears from your question that there has not been a Complaint for Divorce filed. If that is the case then there will be problems executing and filing a Consent Order with a court since you do not have a docketed case. You can file a Complaint for Divorce and then enter into the Consent Order as addressed by other comments. If you are not ready for divorce and will be moving to NY without your husband, you should consider a legally binding separation agreement. See the attached article regarding NJ legal separation if that is something that you wish to consider. http://www.weinbergerlawgroup.com/Divorce-and-Separation/Divorce-Legal-Separation/Legal-Separation.html. Our website has additional information regarding divorce and custody related issues as you raise here. Please contact our office for a FREE consultation to discuss your matter further.

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  5. A notarized document is simply a document where you have an independent witness (the notary) whom you can subpoena to testify in later proceedings that they in fact witnessed and documented the notarized signature. As for the contents of the document, that is another matter.
    My opinion only applies in Arizona, which is the only jurisdiction I practice law in.

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