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Notarized paper

Waukegan, IL |

Will a paper notarized hold up in court? For example; my wife signed she will give me money if we divorce.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Not worth the paper it's printed on.

Posted

You have a lot more to the story I am sure, and in that information will be the answer to your question. By itself, the notarized paper is not much, however, if you relied upon this notarized agreement and prepared you divorce paperwork according to this agreement, you might have a case. The key will be what reliance you (and she) if any this document created in the divorce proceedings. For example, did you agree to leave the shared home and than did so in reliance on this document?

I would encourage you to present this paper to your divorce attorney who would be in a better position and able to ask you for facts that would better determine if the paper has any merit.

Absent additional information, it is hard to advise further.

Best of luck in your situation.

This answer is marginal legal advice and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Every client and case is unique. The best advice is to always consult with an attorney. Free legal resources at www.ZippToCourt.com

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

This was not a divorce question. It is more in the nature of an estate plan.

David Alan Zipp

David Alan Zipp

Posted

The example the poster used suggested to me that he was asking what value, if any, such a signed document might have in court with a pretty clear indication that this potential evidence involves a divorce action. The poster seemed to be asking is this document evidence. I would think a signed writing is quite probative, especially if this is the basis of an agreement between two adult consenting parties and he acted in reliance upon this writing. Depending upon what the writing says, the Court could find this to be a basis of a contract. The value of the writing is absolutely fact dependent, which is why I advised the poster to consult with his divorce attorney as to its value, if any. Depending on facts and circumstances, I could see this paper being evidence to be presented to the finder of fact. The notarization could be used to prove that the wife indeed signed the document and that this writing is not a forgery. The notary is a potential witness. I do not see an estate planning question being asked here by the poster whatsoever. Every attorney practices differently, but I make it a point not to dismiss potential evidence out of hand without at least knowing more facts. I stand by my reasoned statements and hope they are of value to the poster.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

The asker chose a practice are - Wills, which puts the question squarely in the estate planning environment. The asker most likely does not have a divorce attorney.

David Alan Zipp

David Alan Zipp

Posted

Perhaps the poster will be inclined to provide additional information so we can offer a better opinion. As a rule, I presume that a non-attorney asking a legal question on a site like Avvo may not necessarily know what practice area of law they are asking for, and therefore, I try to advise based on the substance of the question, not the practice area they may have selected. The example given by the poster was clearly not an estate planning question, but was a divorce question. In a more general sense, I felt the poster was asking the basic question as to if such a writing could be evidence. It absolutely could be evidence. We do not have enough facts in hand to dismiss it out of hand or to move for its admission.

Posted

This is something in the nature of a promise, which may be considered a contract of sorts. However. it fails because there is nothing specific -- "money" could mean one cent. Moreover it used to be in Illinois that any contract used to get someone to obtain a divorce was not enforceable and void and I think it is still the same. Have a divorce attorney review your rights should you or your wife decide to proceed with a divorce.

Posted

There is hardly enough information in your post to formulate an answer. First off, the fact that a document is notarized has no bearing on whether or not the underlying content of the document is enforceable. The notarizing has to do with verifying the parties involved. If you are in the midst of a divorce or divorce considerations, you need to take the document to your attorney to review and explore its content so that you'll be able to make an informed decision.

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Well stated!

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