Write out the agreement

Once you and your spouse reach an agreement, you need to write out and sign the agreement. 

Your agreement needs to say that you both agree to end the marriage and what you agreed about property or spousal support.  

How to write an agreement

  • Write agreement yourself or get help

    Prepare the agreement yourself

    Get a sample agreement or a template from a reliable source

    There are certain words or phrases the court expects to see in the agreement. If those words are not in are not there, the court can’t accept the agreement. 

    You can also attach court forms to your agreement

    • Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting time) Order Attachment (form FL-341)

      States what you and your child's other parent agreed to for the care of your children.

    • Child Support Information and Order Attachment (form FL-342)

      States what you and your child's other parent agreed to about child support.

    • Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment (form FL-343)

      States what you and your spouse agreed to for long-term spousal support. You can attach Spousal or Domestic Partner Support Factors Under Family Code Section 4320-Attachment (form FL-349) to Form FL-343. 

    • Property Order Attachment to Judgment (form FL-345)

      States what you and your spouse agreed to for your property.

    Get help to prepare your agreement

    • Many lawyers can help you prepare your final agreement. 
    • Some courts have programs where you and your spouse can go to court to complete your agreement and even finish your divorce that day. Court staff cannot offer legal advice, but can offer information about what forms you would need to complete the divorce. Ask your court's Self-Help Center what they offer.
    If you and your spouse have an agreement about your property or support, you will need to complete or waive your final Declarations of Disclosure before or when you write out the agreement.

    You can waive them using Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-144). You and your spouse sign this form. It tells the court you are waiving final declarations.

    If you don't waive final disclosures, you will follow the same process you did to share your preliminary disclosures, but you'll check the boxes that say "final" on the forms.


  • Review the agreement and make sure you understand what it says

    You both need to read the agreement. Double check that it matches what you had talked about and agreed to. 

    If you have any questions about what anything means or if it’s in your best interest, you can ask a lawyer to review it and discuss it with you. Many lawyers will charge an hourly consultation fee

    Agreements about property are very hard to change. 

    If your agreement has to do with the sale of a home or retirement, you should consult with a lawyer.
  • Sign the agreement

    You both must sign the agreement.  

    If your spouse didn’t file a response in this case, their signature must be notarized. This means an official checks their ID and then has them sign the document in front of them. 

    The person whose signature must be checked brings the unsigned document to a notary public. A notary is an official who checks the identification of a person signing a document. Many shipping or mailing stores have them. You can also find one online. 
    1. Visit the notary 

    1. Prove your identity – show an official ID, like a driver’s license or passport

    1. Sign the agreement 

    1. The notary stamps the agreement 

    1. Pay a fee for each signature (the fee is usually $15 but may be different)

Once you and your spouse have a signed agreement, you've completed the "make decisions" part of the divorce process. 

Make decisions

What's next?

Now that your agreement is done, you have one last step to complete your divorce. You need to complete the final paperwork (judgment forms), and submit them to the court. If the judge approves them, they’ll be signed and your divorce is complete.
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