Are Child Custody Agreements Reached In Mediation Binding?

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I have filed an amendment to our child custody agreement that both my wife and I agreed to in mediation.

We both signed all the paperwork and had it notarized. We are awaiting the judge’s approval, but my wife has started to indicate that she might fight the parenting time agreement we reached since she is having second thoughts.

Is this child custody agreement we signed binding since it was a mediated settlement?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

By amending your child custody agreements, I assume that you mean that you filed a supplemental petition to modify the time-sharing or custody arrangement that was entered pursuant to your final judgment of dissolution of marriage.

If this is the case, and the mediated settlement agreement regarding the post-judgment matter is signed by you and your spouse, generally speaking, it is binding unless a party can establish the agreement was reached as a result of fraud or duress. Once a party signs an agreement, it is very hard to get out of it later.

Nevertheless, the agreement is still subject to ratification by the court. It is possible that the court could determine that the agreement is unconscionable or should be thrown out due to fraud or duress.

However, if you have filed the supplemental petition, and you have a signed a notarized agreement, you can ask the court to enter an order ratifying and adopting the stipulated agreement, which will result in a modification of your final judgment.

If you are proceeding pro se, without the advice of a divorce lawyer, I suggest that you contact the case management unit of the family law division of your jurisdiction regarding the above and the procedure for the scheduling of a final hearing.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Melissa Knight, an associate attorney in the Tampa, Florida, office, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Are Child Custody Agreements Reached In Mediation Binding?

    Trying to resprent myself thru my divorce . my wife is reprented and I am not. Live in Wesley chapel fl. Need advice on how to ratify a mediation agreement.

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