Do agreements made outside of court have an effect on our court orders?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My ex-wife and I agreed to a different child support and child custody arrangement than was outlined in our divorce judgment. We had our new agreement notarized.

Is our notarized agreement enforceable or if there are problems with our agreement will the original order be enforced?


Your divorce decree and any custody orders that have stemmed from it are court orders. Making an agreement outside of court with your former spouse, whether it is notarized or not, does not have an effect on the court orders already in place.

In fact, you may be held in contempt for not abiding by a court order. The notarized agreement must be turned into an order, signed by a judge, to be enforceable.

You or your former spouse must petition the court to enter an order reflecting your new agreement. If the new order changes your custody rights or parenting time, your child support could change. You should seek the advice of an attorney before signing any more documents.

Your former spouse is required to notify you if she petitions the court for entry of a new order. It is advisable that you review the new order with an attorney before consenting to it in order to be fully advised of your rights.

Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent men in divorce nationwide. Thank you for submitting your question.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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