Can both parties agree about spousal support in writing and have it be legal and binding?

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2011

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Can both parties agree about spousal support in writing and have it be legal and binding?

Signed before a notary.

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Family Law, West Virginia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Both spouses can certainly agree in mediation/conciliation court to the type, amount and frequency of support, but it will not be legally binding at all until essentially ordered or confirmed by the court. Divorce decrees are the only binding order available to protect each of you, whether it is spousal support, child support or child custody and visitation. You can certainly consider each moving forward pro se or with divorce counsel with a joint motion and explain to the presiding judge that you both feel this is a prudent decision and fair agreement between the two of you. Understand, however, that if the judge determines that there is a huge disparity, especially when it comes to one spouse possibly unknowingly giving up certain assets.  Make sure each of you have a fair accounting of the assets involved and that no stone is left unturned so it doesn't have to be the subject of future motions in court to change or amend the order.

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