Can a notarized letter hold up in court regarding an agreement between2 people?

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Can a notarized letter hold up in court regarding an agreement between2 people?

My wife and I are getting a divorce and doing it ourselves. She is receiving monthly payments and promised me half since she would not be getting them if it weren’t for me. The payments are in her name and if she didn’t want to pay there would be nothing I could do. She said she would send me a notarized letter stating she would pay me for X amount of months. Will this hold up in court if she moves or just decides not to hold up her end of the bargain ? I also have it on recording her stating this which is legal in ID because she used recordings on her ex-husband.

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Business Law, Idaho

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is really not a good idea to do this yourself.  You are dividing your marital property and you may be cheating yourself out of what you deserve.  You may also be giving up rights to which you are entitled, like permanent spousal support.  Idaho is a Community Property State, meaning that marital property is split 50/50.  What are her monthly payments based upon?  Are they a pension?  What are your other marital assets?  Are there children?  The letter may be able to hold up in court as a binding contract (which is what a settlement agreement is: a legally binding contract as between the two of you) but I would not play around with this.  Even try legal aid or legal services. Good luck.


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