Can A Separation Agreement Be Used In A Future Divorce Case?

divorce lawyer Katie PetersenQuestion:

My wife and I reached a marital separation agreement while we were separated, but we never actually filed for divorce following a reconciliation.

Now that we are filing for divorce some months later and she no longer wants to use the terms of our previous settlement, is there a good chance that the judge will use these old agreement as the basis for decisions pertaining to child custody, alimony, property division, and other issues that were agreed upon?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Georgia divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Did you and your wife sign the settlement agreement? If so, and depending on the content of the agreement and some other legal issues, I would recommend you hire a men’s attorney to file a Complaint for Divorce as well as a Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement and a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (depending on the jurisdiction in which you are filing).

Your divorce lawyer can make legal arguments regarding the enforceability of the settlement agreement. However, it is in the judge’s discretion whether to incorporate your settlement agreement into the final decree.

If your wife contests the settlement agreement, these legal arguments can be made at a hearing before you have to go to trial on all of the issues in your case (custody, child support, property division, etc.).

It is hard to say whether you have a “good chance” with the judge without knowing who the judge is and more facts regarding the settlement agreement.

If the judge denies your Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement as well as your Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, then you would proceed to trial.

Also, keep in mind that you cannot present evidence of prior offers of settlement in court. So, if the judge denies your Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement, you cannot present to the judge evidence of your prior negotiations with your wife.

For example, you cannot say that your wife offered to split custody with you. The judge will make a decision based only on admissible evidence.

Read Related Articles:

What Counts As Admissible Evidence?

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Atlanta Divorce Lawyer Katherine Petersen, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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