Does a Separation Agreement need to be notarized?

One of the most common questions we get is Does a Separation Agreement need to be notarized?”  A short a simple answer to this question is that No you do not need to notarize a Separation Agreement. However One must note that a Separation Agreement must be in Writing, should have a proper date, it should be signed by both parties to the agreement and it should be witnessed by someone above the age of 18. The witness to the Separation Agreement need not be a notary public or a Lawyer or a Commissioner for Oaths. However, it is strongly recommended to have a professional witness your signature as opposed to a family friend or a relative. This eliminates any chance of challenging the validity of the signatures and documents.

It is equally important to have an Independent Legal Advice (ILA) before you sign the Separation Agreement.

Does a Separation Agreement need to be notarized? Is not as an important question as opposed to asking do you need Independent Legal Advice (ILA) or not? Independent Legal Advice (ILA) will protect a party from any claims to set-aside a valid document.

One must keep in mind that if a party obtains an Independent Legal Advice (ILA) the Lawyer will notarize the Separation Agreement him/herself without the need to go to a separate notary public. Another important component of a Separation Agreement is to ensure that both parties have exchanged proper financial disclosure among them self and are satisfied that full and complete financial disclosure has been made prior to notarizing the Separation Agreement in Ontario.