Family Matters.
When It Really Matters.

Are Verbal Agreements Enforceable During a Divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2019 | Divorce

Are verbal agreements enforceable during a divorce?  If you and your former spouse have made verbal agreements or “pinky promises” over time or during the course of a marriage will they hold up in divorce court?

We often hear these types of questions from clients:

“He promised if we ever got a divorce I could keep the house.”

“We agreed to share custody of the children equally.”

“My former spouse promised they would never ask for spousal support.”

Are these types of verbal agreements enforceable during a divorce in North County or North County San Diego?

The simple answer is unfortunately “no.”  We understand this isn’t the answer most people want to hear, but generally speaking unless an agreement is entered into in writing (and witnessed or notarized) it is generally unenforceable and will not be admitted for consideration.

This is the reason for prenuptial agreements as well as post-nuptial agreements.  Challenges arise during the course of almost every marriage, and part of the healing process may be a formal agreement regarding the future disposition of community property such as the family home or the transfer of money.

Child custody and parenting time lie squarely within the purview of the Court.  California Courts consider the best interest of every child when determining issues of legal or physical custody.  A verbal agreement from the past will unfortunately carry no weight in the present.

The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq understand your point of view here.  The relationship with a spouse is a complex and profound thing.  The agreements we make with anyone who is important to us, especially a spouse, carry substantial weight in our hearts.  Any agreement which is important enough to work through is important enough to capture in writing.  If it isn’t in writing (with supporting evidence such as emails and texts or witnessed by a Notary Public) it almost surely won’t be admissible in Court.