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When does a divorce agreement become binding?

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There is a fair amount of misconceptions about the legalities of agreements when going through a divorce. Today’s blog, tackles some of those myths and resolves the question when and how does  a divorce agreement become binding?

  1. Handshake deals.  Informal agreements between the parties, what are commonly known as a “handshake deal” clearly are not legally enforceable in court.
  2. Notarized agreements. Agreements parties may reach in writing and run off and get notarized are also not legally binding in a divorce case.
  3. Written Agreements not sent in as a court order.  Where parties reach an agreement, put it in writing, may even sign it, but forget to send it to the court for court approval, such written agreements have no legal effect between the parties.
  4. Marital Settlement Agreements.  Where parties have reached an agreement on all issues of their divorce case, have it in writing and have signed it, such agreements likewise are not legally binding, until the parties appear in court for their final court hearing and the court approves the agreement.

So, you might be asking, how do you make an agreement legally binding and enforceable between the parties?

  1. Any agreements reached between the parties during the divorce, must be submitted to the court as formal stipulation and order. Once approved by the court, such agreements do become legally binding and enforceable between the parties.
  2. Marital Settlement Agreements, reached between the parties in writing and signed by the parties, become legally binding when approved by the court at the time of the final court hearing.
  3. Post divorce agreements reached between the parties post judgment,  must be submitted to the court as a formal written stipulation and order. Once approved by the court, such post judgment stipulations do become legally binding and enforceable between the parties.
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