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Does a hand written contract have to be notarized to stand in court?

Cresskill, NJ |

I typed up a contract on my computer and wondering if it needs to be notarized for it to stand in court?

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Attorney answers 3


No. Notarization does nothing to validate the truth of a document or make a document legally binding, it merely is a method by which one can attest that the signatories on the document are whom they claim to be.

The above statement does not create an attorney-client relationship and the submitting party should not consider the responding their attorney.


I agree with Attorney Thomas. Notarizing the document does not affect its validity. It merely takes away a potential argument that one of the parties did not sign the document.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


To be legal, a contract requires an offer, an acceptance and consideration ($$$ or a promise to act or not act) between two or more people (including entities) who are competent. Unless it involves real property or will be performed for a period of more than a year, an oral contract is as valid as a written contract, however an oral contract is hard to prove (he said/she said). As noted by my colleagues, it nearly needs to be signed.

There is an old saying: "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." I did not handle my own divorce. I suggest you not write your own contract as there will be issues you will overlook.

The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.

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