Which Version Of The Divorce Decree Is Enforceable?

Noblesville Indiana Divorce LawyerQuestion:

My question regards the validity of a personal divorce decree versus the actual court-ordered decree.

My ex-wife and I had a personal decree that stated I must pay a higher amount of child support than the court-ordered decree.

Does the personal decree trump the court-ordered decree allowing her to enforce the provisions that are inconsistent?


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

In general, the decree that is signed by the court latest in time is the order which must be followed. If the personal decree is not signed by the judge or filed with the court, then you may attempt to repudiate the document prior to its submission to the court.

In order to be an enforceable decree under most state’s divorce laws, the agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and incorporated into the court’s order. This if often achieved by the judge signing the agreement. The document that is filed with the clerk and signed by the judge is likely the enforceable order of the court.

Divorce Resources:

State Divorce Laws

If the personal agreement was created prior to the court’s order, it is likely of no effect as the court’s order changed what was required of the parties. If the personal agreement was created after the court’s order, it is possible your former spouse may try to file it with the court and submit it to the judge to be signed as an agreement of the parties modifying the prior court order and presenting it for signature.

If that is the case, you may be able to repudiate the agreement prior to it being signed by the court.

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

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Noblesville, Indiana Divorce Lawyer Sara Pitcher, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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