Is a Marital Settlement Agreement Binding Before the Divorce is Issued?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

A “Marital Settlement Agreement” is a document which stipulates the agreement between the two spouses regarding all elements of their divorce. This usually includes the division of assets and debts as well as terms regarding child custody and parenting time, child support, spousal support, retirement accounts and even the disposition of the family home.
A Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract between the parties that becomes incorporated into the Judge’s ultimate orders in their divorce case. It can be enforced in the same manner as any other contract. Therefore if one of the parties wishes to break the agreement prior to the stipulated orders of the divorce court, the other party can pursue the matter as a “breach of contract.”
There may be a few exceptions to this, especially if one or more of the terms in the Marital Settlement Agreement are considered to be unconscionable, or unenforceable according to California law. In that case the Courts will usually uphold the rest of the agreement and simply address questions relating to that portion which cannot be legally enforced.
Marital Settlement Agreements are often the result of mediation, or the effective negotiations of the parties supported by their attorneys. The experience and skill of your divorce attorney will make a substantial difference in the quality of your Marital Support Agreement and the accomplishment of your goals.
If you are considering a divorce in Carlsbad or North County we invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our seasoned attorneys. We have decades of experience in the local North County Family Law Court and this informs the insight and recommendations we share with our clients.
If you sign a Marital Settlement Agreement it is in your best interests to follow it to the letter unless and until you receive the advice of counsel.