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How Legally Binding is a Settlement Agreement?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2020 | Divorce

How legally binding is a settlement agreement in a North County divorce?  In California and here in Carlsbad a settlement agreement is considered to be a binding legal contract. During the process of a divorce, the parties are required to participate in a settlement conference, and many parties elect to pursue structured negotiations or mediation.

When agreement is reached on many or all of the issues associated with the divorce itself, the parties may agree to and sign a settlement agreement. This ensures that the former spouses remain in control of the important issues of their divorce instead of leaving the resolution of their questions to a total stranger (the judge).

A valid settlement agreement must comply with certain legal requirements in order to be an enforceable instrument. There must be a “meeting of the minds” and a vague agreement or the absence of specific terms would allow a party to challenge the contract’s validity. The agreement must be signed by the parties themselves, and not by an agent (such as the attorney for one of the parties).

In the end the settlement agreement should capture the agreements the parties have reached after working through many or all of the elements associated with their divorce including but not limited to:
Division of community property (assets, debts)
Child Custody, Parenting Time
Child Support
Spousal Support
Division of Other Assets such as retirement accounts or business ownership

This is why it is so important to work with the experienced attorneys at Burke & Domercq, APC. All documents contained within your divorce, including a separation agreement, must be carefully crafted to ensure they are accurate, complete and enforceable. This prevents disputes after the divorce is completed and expensive post-decree litigation.

How legally binding is a settlement agreement?  If the agreement is well crafted and signed by the parties themselves it should be binding.  Working with our attorneys ensures that your intentions are properly converted to enforceable agreements. Learn about our cost-effective divorce services and the manner in which we help our clients to complete their divorce in a timely and efficient manner.

We invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment with one of our seasoned attorneys.