If you are wondering which documents must be notarized in your family court case, you should continue reading. The common documents that must be notarized are:
- a divorce petition
- a legal separation petition
- a petition to modify legal decision-making
- a petition to modify parenting time
- an acceptance of service
- a waiver of service
- an agreement that substantially changes the terms of a custody (legal decision-making order’
- an agreement that substantially changes the terms of a parenting time order
- an affidavit of default
- an affidavit submitted with a default motion
- a consent decree of dissolution of marriage
- a consent decree of legal separation
There are some other, less common documents that must be notarized in family court cases in Arizona.
Also, there are numerous documents that need not be notarized but must be signed as an “unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury.” The court requires the following general format for such “unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury:” “I declare (or certify, verify or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date). (Signature).”
The adoption of this exception to the notarization of documents has reduced the hassle of obtaining a notary for the many documents in the Arizona family court that must be made under oath. In the past, the client would need to go to the attorney’s office to sign many documents before a notary, which was time-consuming and inefficient. Now the client instead just signs most of the documents at home (if he so chooses) and mails them to the attorney’s office, saving time and money.
Nevertheless, the documents that must be signed under oath – even if not notarized – must be taken very seriously. Before you sign any document, review it carefully to make sure that everything is factually accurate and truthful. If you are not sure about whether something is true or not, do NOT sign a document in which you state under penalty of perjury that it is factually true. There can be serious criminal and civil consequences to committing perjury, as you probably know. Instead, there are ways to word things regarding uncertain allegations in order to protect yourself from being accused of committing perjury. Under your lawyer’s guidance, often you can craft a document that states your concerns and allegations without risking a possible serious legal battle over whether you committed perjury.