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Ensuring a divorce settlement is legally binding in California

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2018 | divorce

When couples split up, there are usually things that need to be addressed and those things can be clearly stated in a settlement agreement. However, what does it take for a California divorce settlement to be legally binding? Are there, in fact, certain things that can render an agreement invalid? Certainly so.

Settlements are usually made outside a court room and may have been ironed out during a mediation process or have been included in a prenuptial agreement. If the legalities of a divorce settlement have not been followed, it could be rendered invalid. For instance, if a settlement that was reached by mediation isn’t followed, it could be cause for legal action.

In some instances, lawyers for each parties may need to sign the document before filing it with the court. These kinds of things must be seen to for a settlement to be valid. A divorce settlement should speak to all issues and terms of the divorce, not only child support/access or alimony, but also assets such as stocks or bonds, life insurance policies and the like. The terms must be lawful and not contrary to public policy.

There are so many terms and issues in a divorce agreement that need to be in place. With these kinds of complex rules in California, each partner should seek legal counsel to ensure everything has been covered in the document, which can still speak to the unique situation of the couple. It is important to obtain legal counsel as well when one or both parties is seeking any kind of modification to the settlement.  

Source:, “Divorce Settlement Agreements May Not Be Legally Binding“, Brad Reid, Accessed on Feb. 9, 2018