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Validity of post-marital separation agreement?

Tracy, CA |

If both spouses have a signed post-marital separation agreement that was drawn by a attorney, but is not notarized, is it valid? Both spouses voluntarily signed the agreement without any problems. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Post marital separation agreements are generally viewed with skepticism by courts. The issue is not whehter it was drawn up by an attorney, but whether there was full disclosure of informaiton and property issues by both parties and whether the agreement does not encourage divorce.


  2. Has a divorce been filed? Are the parties seeking legal separation? Has a judge signed the post-marital separation agreement? Does that agreement encompass all the community and separate property belonging to the parties? Does it dispose of support issues? Child custody issues?

    To constitute a valid judgment for either divorce or legal separation, it will need to be signed by a judge as part of a normal family law case. Most unrepresented litigants' signatures must be notarized for marital settlement agreements. This document is probably insufficient. I would strongly suggest you take the document to an attorney and consult with them on what additional steps may need to be taken.


  3. It depends on disclosure, relative sophistication of the parties, whose attorney was it before, a lot of factors, consult an attorney and discuss this at length

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.

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