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Ask David C. Garner Your Own Question
David C. Garner
David C. Garner, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1036
Experience:  JD with Distinction, Admitted to practice in California
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How to legalize written agreement between two people?

Customer Question

how do i legalize a written agreement between two people
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 8 years ago.

Depending on what you are drafting, all that really needs to be done is for both parties to sign it. In any situation where a contract MUST be in writing it can still be pretty simple as long as it is signed by the person against whom it is asserted. Obviously the more detail you can include the better, but some evidence of an agreement is powerful evidence that some sort of agreement existed.

What are you trying to create?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am drafting a separation agreement between my wife and I in lieu of going through the a legal separation because of medical benefits she would lose if I were to file a legal separation with the courts.
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 8 years ago.

So you aren't really separating, you are just separating property? Is this more in the flavor of a post-nuptial agreement?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We are not legally separating but consider ourselves separated. This is in order for her to continue to receive medical benefits until she finishes her education and can find a job that offers her benefits. so we are remaining married but the agreement is to divide property and agree to terms and live as if we were separated. Is this legal and can we sign an agreement making this legal?
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 8 years ago.
In California (and I will admit I have never had anyone try this) you are either married, separated, single or divorced. What you consider yourself is irrellevant from a legal perspective. That is why the courts require the filings. Otherwise people would invoke a particular status whenever it suited them.

If your purpose is to draft something to receive benefits while essectially secretly remaining married, then you are dancing dangerously close to insurance fraud. Any false statements made to obtain insurance will not only get the policy cancelled, but will get you into a lot of hot water as well.

I hope this helps.
David C. Garner and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Yes it helps....did not think this could be considered insurance fraud.

Expert:  David C. Garner replied 8 years ago.
If she is making false statements in order to obtain insurance or increased insurance, then it probably is. You cannot work out a private understanding that circumvents the requirements of the law. A legal separation requires a filing and is a critical mile-marker in the community property scheme of asset division. It also is an important marker with respect to debts, etc.

If it could be gotten around with private understandings, it would lay waste to much of the law of community property.

Sorry, I hate to be a wet blanket.