We have an Agreement – Now What?

By Schonauer Law on Jul 30, 2019 at 08:50 PM in What to do?

We have an Agreement – Now What?

If you and your spouse have decided to go different directions, and there is a comprehensive written settlement agreement signed by both of you, the agreement may be turned into a Judgment one of three ways.


One spouse may file a petitioner for dissolution in the county where you reside, and the agremment, generally called a marriage settlement agreement, or MSA, may be submitted to the court as a default judgment with agreement.


If either spouse has already filed a petitioner for dissolution, the same process may be used to enter judgment.  If the responding spouse, the respondent, has filed a response, the petitioner for dissolution, the MSA will be the agreement filed as an uncontested case.


If the settlement agreement is in writing and signed by both parties, the parties may avail themselves of a quick and effective avenue for enforcement by making a motion to enter judgment on the agreement.  Generally, this happens when one party decides she or he does not want to honor the agreement and cooperate with the entry of judgment as outlined above.

Under California Code of Civil procedure 664.6, if parties to pending litigation stipulate in a writing signed by the parties outside the presence of the court for settlement of the case, or part thereof, the court, upon motion, may enter judgment pursuant to the terms of the settlement.

         Scope of 664.6

For 664.6 to be available to either party, the Agreement must fall within the scope of section 664.6.  A written agreement falls within the scope of 664.6 if is was executed after a petitioner for dissolution was filed and is signed by both parties.

        Requirements of 664.6

If a written agreement falls without the scope of 664.6, the court need to determine whether the agreement satisfies the requirements of section 664.6 in that is valid (proper contract formation), and contains material terms sufficiently definite to enable the courts to give it an exact meaning.

If there is any ambiguity in the Agreement, the parties may provide admissible evidence to remedy the ambiguity and the court may reform the agreement to accurately convey the terms made by mutual agreement.

Issues such as fraud or misrepresentation during formation of the agreement may be an issue, but generally, no evidentiary hearing is necessary and the written agreement, as is, becomes a judgment, or partial judgment.