Make your agreement a court order

If you and your spouse, partner, or child's other parent reach an agreement about an issue in your case, you can write out the agreement, both sign it, and give it to the court for a judge to review and sign. It can then become a court order. You both must follow the order.

Before you start

Get specific instructions if your agreement is about child custody and visitation, child support, or spousal support

The way to make your agreement a court order is similar no matter what the issue is you agree on. But, for some issues, like child custody and support, there are court forms you can use to write up your agreement.

Get the forms and specific instructions:

How to make your agreement a court order

  • Write out the agreement

    For some issues, like child custody and support, there is a court form you can use to write out your agreement. For other, there isn't a form.

    You will need to write your own agreement. Then, you can attach your agreement to a cover sheet that you both sign.  

    Your court's Self-Help Center or Family Law Facilitator may have a template you can use or more information to assist you.

  • Both of you sign the agreement

    Both you and your spouse or domestic partner need to sign the agreement. 

    Make sure you understand the agreement before you sign. 

    You can always ask a lawyer to review the agreement before signing. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer for your whole case, they can be paid hourly to review documents and give you advice. 
  • Make copies of the signed agreement

    Make 2 copies of the agreement. The original is for the court. The copies are for you and your spouse or the child's other parent.

  • Submit the agreement to the court for a judge to sign and pay fee

    members fo the public waiting in line to talk to the clerk

    Unlike other forms, agreements don’t get filed right away. A judge has to sign the agreement before it can be filed. You generally need to pay a filing fee.

    Ask a clerk or someone at the Self-Help Center: 

    • Where to bring the agreement to get a judge’s signature 

    • How you can get the signed agreement back 

    • How much the fee will be

    It may take a couple days to get the signed copy back. Ask when you can return to get it back. Or leave a self-addressed stamped envelope for the clerk to mail it back to you.   

    There is usually a fee to file an agreement. The fee is generally $20. If one of you hasn't paid their first filing fee ($435-450) that person may also need to pay this fee. If you can't afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
  • Get back signed agreement and give copy to other side

    illustration of hading papers to another person

    When you get back the signed agreement, it should have the judge's signature and a stamp that says "filed." It is now a court order. Give a copy to your spouse, domestic partner, or the other parent.

Once your agreement is filed, it’s a court order. This means you and the other person in your case who signed the agreement must follow the order.  

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