On April 27, Governor Baker passed the S2645 Bill codified as the Chapter 71 of the Acts of 2020. This important development for family law cases permits notarizations to be completed remotely. This allows, divorce, divorce mediations and all other family law matters to move forward with online video conferencing and online notarization.
To complete notarizations electronically the following criteria must be adhered to:
- All parties and the notary must be located in Massachusetts.
- All principal parties must provide proof of identity either during the video conference or by sending a copy of identification materials to the notary.
- The notary must observe execution of the document by all parties through real time electronic video conferencing.
- All executed documents must be sent to the notary for their stamp and signature following the video conference. Mortgage closings require a second video conference to confirm that the documents received by the notary are the same ones that were executed.
This important bill takes notice of the fact that divorces, modifications, parenting plans, and mediations are still taking place. Families are still experiencing challenges and now so more than ever people are thinking about divorces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This law will allow the attorneys licensed in the state of Massachusetts, a duly appointed notary, or a paralegal notary directly supervised by an attorney, the option to perform these duties remotely during the current state of emergency.
The bill balances protection from the COVID-19 pandemic with maintaining the rigorous procedural safeguards that Massachusetts family law attorneys normally follow. We are proud to play a role in keeping our clients safe by providing socially appropriate ways to conduct business during this state of emergency.
Edward L. Amaral, Jr., Esq