In significant legal situations that penalizes individuals if they are not who they claim they are, courts often require notarization of your signature. In regards to divorce proceedings, some documents must be notarized while others do not. Notaries confirm your identity and ensure you understand what you are signing.
What Types of Divorce Requires Notarization?
There is only one case where you need to have a signature notarized, which is a “default with agreement” divorce. This type of divorce is one where you file for divorce, your spouse fails to respond, but you enter into a written agreement anyway (yes, it is possible to enter into a written agreement without filing a response to a divorce).
If you wish to proceed with your divorce in this manner, the respondent is required to have their signature notarized when you submit the judgment. Since the respondent never filed a response, the courts wants to ensure that the respondent is really the person he or she claims to be and not someone else entirely.
However, uncontested divorce and true default divorce do not require notary in California. An uncontested case is when one party files for divorce and other responds, officially entering the case willingly so notarization is not required to prove identity. A true default divorce case is one where you file for divorce and the other party is not involved at all (refusing to file a response, complete paperwork, or enter into a written agreement).