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When Have You Made a Final Agreement in a Divorce?

There are many different methods that can be used to settle a divorce case.  But how do you know when you have reached a final agreement?  How do you know when you are stuck with the agreement, and when you can hold your wife to the agreement?  One way to reach a final agreement in your divorce case is to write out a Judgment of Divorce, and have both parties and both attorneys sign the Judgment.  At that point, you have a valid contract, assuming the property settlement was a bargained for exchange, and assuming there was no fraud, duress or mutual mistake.

You can also reach a binding agreement in your divorce case without reducing that agreement to writing if you make the agreement in court, and it is “placed on the record.”  If you both agree to the terms, and a Judge approves the settlement terms in court, you are both held to those terms.  That agreement will then be reduced to writing, but the oral agreement itself, in court, is valid and binding, and therefore is final.  See, for example, Vigil vs. Vigil, 118 Mich. App. 194 (1982).

You can also go to mediation, and through the mediation process reach a final and binding agreement.  The terms of a settlement reached at mediation are binding if they are either (1) reduced to writing at mediation, or (2) if the husband and wife acknowledge the agreement in an audio or video recording of the agreement.  This is pursuant to court rule, MCR 3.216(H)(7). 

There are many ways to reach an agreement and then be bound by that agreement, so be careful, because what you agree upon can be final and binding. 

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in all aspects of family law. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men. If you're seeking a divorce lawyer or child custody attorney, contact ADAM today.

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