The effect of adherend notching on the joint strength/failure and joint deformation behavior of single lap joints was investigated. First, a parametric study was conducted using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). The results of the parametric study were used to select the most promising lap geometries for further study. Next, more detailed FEA were conducted on the selected lap geometries. This data was compared with the experimental tensile test results to assess the applicability of different failure criteria.