If a married couple enters into a marital settlement agreement disposing of all of their property and all of their parental responsibility and child support and never has it signed by a judge, is it enforceable? The direct answer is “mostly.” Yes, that is a typical lawyer answer. The problem is, when dealing with the law, there is rarely a black and white yes or no answer. The laws are written gender neutral, but sometimes family law for men feels a little more difficult to practice.
Attorneys for men, and any attorney for that matter, should be overly prepared when going to court knowing all of the slightest nuances of the law as they pertain to their particular issue. Regarding the subject of this blog, failure to incorporate a settlement agreement in a final divorce order does not make it unenforceable. Alimony awards can be part of a property settlement agreement. Agreements involving alimony are enforceable by the court. An unreferenced contract may control the provisions of a final judgment. “The court has repeatedly held, along with practically every other court in the land, that property settlements between husband and wife made in good faith are valid and legal and should not be disturbed by the courts.” Vance v. Vance. “That these agreements should be construed and interpreted as other contracts is no longer open to question.” Underwood v. Underwood.
If one wants to appeal any order, whether it is in family law, divorce, custody, or any type of litigation, there are very strict rules that must be followed. There are deadlines that are extremely strict. Kenny Leigh & Associates has an appellate division that can help you with all of your needs. Time is of the essence, however, and if you wait you could lose any chance you had to file an appeal. Litigation does not always produce the results that we anticipate. In many instances, judges and hearing officers commit errors that may be corrected by filing an appeal. The appeals process provides a means by which erroneous trial court rulings may be overturned. Not all orders can be appealed. However, in most instances, an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the trial court entering the order. This is 30 calendar days. You may always speak to your attorney about appealing your particular order.
Often, but again not always, you must file a motion for rehearing before filing an appeal. The purpose of the motion for rehearing is to give the trial judge an opportunity to correct any alleged errors made. The motion for rehearing, if necessary, must be filed within 10 days of the trial court entering the order. Therefore, you should speak to an attorney about the necessity of this motion prior to the appeal.