Incorporating Separation Agreement Into Final Decree

mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I need legal separation advice on whether our marital settlement agreement is enforceable.

My wife and I separated and entered into a settlement agreement addressing issues such as child support, parenting time, etc., before our divorce was even filed.

Now her attorney has filed the dissolution paperwork and indicated that we could not use the terms agreed upon in our legal separation agreement because it was too old.

How should I respond so I can keep the original agreement intact?


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

Generally, the parties can agree to an uncontested divorce, meaning a marriage settlement agreement (MSA) has already been reached in the matter, and the parties can then file the same with the court and ask the judge to incorporate the MSA by reference.

In general, once you sign an agreement you cannot get out of it later. The MSA could be enforced by the trial court if necessary.

However, at the time you entered into the MSA a petition for dissolution of marriage was not filed. I would suggest that you file an Answer and Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and indicate that an MSA already exists and incorporate it as part of your Counter-Petition.

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

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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