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Does a document need to be notarized in order to be deemed as a legally binding agreement in court?

Lawrenceville, GA |

I live in Lawrenceville, GA. I want a separation from my husband. He has asked me to move out of the house we both pay for and is under both our names, within 2 weeks. I found an apartment and am ready to move. I want to create a document which states that as per his request I am moving out and therefore no longer responsible for my half of the mortgage. Along with that the agreement would state that certain property will go with me whilst other remains with him.

Does this document need to be notarized in order to be deemed as a legally binding agreement in court? Or can we simply both sign it and have that work?



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Attorney answers 4


The document doesn't have to be notarized. However, a notarized document will protect you should he deny signing the document.

Please note, that the mortgage company doesn't care about the agreement between you and your husband. If he doesn't pay the mortgage, the company can come after you. Moreover, if he starts paying late, this delinquency will decrease your credit score.

You may want to move forward and file for divorce. This still won't cure the problem with the mortgage unless the order gives him a date certain to sell the house or refinance the mortgage.

Also, you may want to consult with a lawyer to draft the document.

If you need additional information, you can contact me.
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Notarization is nothing other than confirmation that the parties are who they say they are and that they signed the paper for the reasons stated. Notarization does not magically transform an invalid paper into an enforceable legal document.

What you need is a separation agreement, or temporary orders or both. Each state has its own statutory requirements for such documents. It would be a good idea to retain counsel to draft such documents and you may save time and money.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.


Most married couples have more than just the house to contend with whether it is a separation or a divorce. You may consider mediation as a means to have clarity on many of these issues. Consult for more information about mediation.


An agreement between you, reduced to writing and signed by both is a written contract. This would be "enforceable" in the same way as any written contract, according to its terms. I would be very concerned about doing this between you. There will likely be issues you do not consider, and the drafting of the document might not accomplish what you want. It is usually worth the investment to work with an attorney on a separation agreement that handles all details. My firm covers Gwinnett County, and there are many others near you.

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