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What rights do i have with a settlement agreement that has been notorized but not submitted into court?

Chesterfield, VA |
Attorney answers 4


It is not yet enforceable if it hasn't become an order.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


While it is a contract and therefore can be enforced as a contract. However, until it is incorporated into a Final Decree of Divorce it is not enforceable as though it were an order of the Court. You will need to file a Complaint for Divorce and attempt through the Final Decree to incorporate the PSA. After the decree is entered you will be able to enforce the PSA if your former spouse is not complying with the term.


Marital agreements, including separation agreements and property settlement agreements, are enforced in Virginia, in accordance with the Virignia Premarital Agreement Act and ordinary contract law. The court is not bound by your contract concerning child custody, child visitation, or child support. Other lawful provisions may be enforced just as any other contract in Virginia.

The contract must be incorporated into a decree in order to take advantage of the court's contempt powers. Although this is normally done at the conclusion of the case by incorporation into the Final Decree of Divorce, it may be done earlier in the process with court approval.

While the following video explains that a separation agreement is not necessary for a no fault divorce in Virginia, it is often advantageous to the parties: .

You should consult with a Virginia lawyer to discuss your options.

The foregoing is intended to be general legal information. You should consult with a Virginia attorney to discuss all your options in light of your particular circumstances.


I agree with Ms. Sauer. Although it has not been incorporated into your FDD and would not be enforceable as an order, you still have contractual rights. Regardless, I always recommend a minimal lapse between the date you enter into a PSA and file for a divorce.

This answer is for general informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney licensed in your state, that practices in the relevant area of law, to schedule an in-person consultation.