Agreements in Family Law Cases

When you and the other person in your family law case (like a divorce, a custody and parenting time (visitation) case, a child support case, etc.) agree on the orders you want the court to make, you can usually write up your agreement, have a judge sign it and then file it with the court. If you do this, you do not have to go to a court hearing or file other papers to request a hearing or a court order.

You can also write up an agreement after you have asked for a court hearing (with a Request for Order, Form FL-300) but reach an agreement before the hearing or on the day of the hearing.

There are different types of agreements you can reach. Click on the topic below to find out more about certain types of agreements:

Agreements are often called “stipulations” and you will find official court forms called “Stipulations” under the Forms section on this website. When you reach an agreement and want to write it up, sometimes you must use the official form, like the Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support (Form FL-350). But in most cases, you can use a form that fits your situation or write your agreement on pleading paper. If you use pleading paper, make sure you follow the proper procedures and include the case name, case number, etc.

If you have questions or want to make sure the agreement is in your best interest (and that of your children if you have children), talk to a lawyer before you sign it. Click for help finding a lawyer.

If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps with the issues you are trying to include in your agreement, ask them for help too. They can usually help you with child support and spousal support agreements (and even help you mediate with the other person to reach an agreement). In child custody and visitation (parenting time) cases, your court’s Family Court Services may help you write a child custody agreement if you go through mediation or child custody recommending counseling with their office. Click to find out more about child custody mediation.

© 2017 Judicial Council of California