Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
The answer is that "it depends". First of all, if there is an agreement pertaining to child support, "parties may not by agreement divest the court of jurisdiction to order child support." (Practice Under the California Family Code (Cont.Ed.Bar 2009) § 8.3, p. 306.) "[P]ublic policy also prohibits a parent from waiving or limiting, by agreement, a child's right to support." (Kristine M. v. David P. (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 783, 789 [37 Cal.Rptr.3d 748].). Accordingly, regardless of the parties’ intentions in a Marital Agreement, the courts in California will continue to maintain jurisdiction regarding child support.
Parents have no right, in California, to waive or limit by agreement a child's right to support. (Fam. Code,[fn1] § 7632; K.M. v. E.G. 2005) 37 Cal.4th 130, 144 [33 Cal.Rptr.3d 61, 117 P.3d 673]; In re Marriage of Buzzanca (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1410, 1426 [72 Cal.Rptr.2d 280].)
And if the signed, written agreement specifically states that it will take effect at some future point (such as ratification by a court) then that is the case. But absent those two caveats, it will be enforceable and valid immediately after both parties sign it.
Now it's still subject to modification by a court, but that would only happen if the court determined that the agreement was grossly unfair to a party that had little or no bargaining power.
Otherwise, the court will typically incorporate the agreement into the final order. But the agreement is enforceable before the final divorce because it specifically assumes that it will apply to a separation (before the final divorce) as well as after.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
I thought this question was to go to a California Lawyer?
It goes into the general queue unless you specifically ask for a California lawyer. But this is the law in California (as it is in most states). Settlement agreements are contractual, and as such, can be enforced as contracts. Contracts (unless specifically stating otherwise) are enforceable immediately after signature.
ok. That makes sense. It sounds like the kit is a statement in the LS that says the terms of the LS will become active at some point in time. Am I correct?
"the kit is a statement in the LS..." I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by that. Do you mean that you have purchased, or will purchase, a legal separation kit that says that it will have a statement that says it will be effective at some specific time?
If the settlement agreement specifically has a statement as to a date when it will be effective, that is when it will be effective. Otherwise, it will be effective immediately upon signing.
Great! That's what my senior brain needed to make sure I comprehend. What do I do now to finish this session?
I understand. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer below. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
Thanks! That was an excellent answer.
You're welcome, and again, good luck to you!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).