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Are divorce agreements created through mediation legally binding?

Yes, a divorce agreement that is the result of the divorce mediation process is just as legally binding as an agreement hashed out by attorneys during litigation (or ordered by a judge after trial). Indeed, one might say that the whole point of the mediation process is to produce an enforceable, legally binding agreement that can be filed with the court as an enforceable contract. Once made, a Separation Agreement solidifies the rights and obligations of you and your spouse in the divorce. If you think your spouse is not upholding their end of the bargain, you can bring it to the attention of the court through a Complaint for Contempt.

However, one of the great benefits of divorce mediation is that resulting agreement tend to be violated less frequently than agreements that are the product of litigation. This tends to be true because both spouses have more control over the completed agreement through the mediation process than spouses who reach agreement through the coercive pressure of litigation. Mediated agreements tend to fall more precisely in line with the future needs and interests of spouses, avoid many of the resentments and frustrations with the litigation process that can motivate violations. Additionally, because both spouses contribute to a mediated agreement, former spouses often take a measure of pride in authorship, with results in better compliance with the agreement’s terms.

 

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