Pennsylvania Separation Agreement Law

Pennsylvania Separation Agreement Law

Divorce – Separation Agreements – Pennsylvania

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of separation agreements in New Mexico, but does include basic and other provisions.

General Summary: Separation Agreements are valid if free from fraud or coercion and not directly condusive to procurement of divorce.  Court may incorporate Agreement into decree of divorce or annulment.  Agreements, whether or not incorporated into decree, are enforceable under statute to the same extent as court order.  Except for provisions regarding child support, visitation or custody, private agreements are not subject to court modification in absence of any provisions to the contrary.


Pennsylvania Statutes

Effect of agreement between parties:

(a) Enforcement. – A party to an agreement regarding matters within the jurisdiction of the court under this part, whether or not the agreement has been merged or incorporated into the decree, may utilize a remedy or sanction set forth in this part to enforce the agreement to the same extent as though the agreement had been an order of the court except as provided to the contrary in the agreement.

(b) Certain provisions subject to modification. – A provision of an agreement regarding child support, visitation or custody shall be subject to modification by the court upon a showing of changed circumstances.

(c) Certain provisions not subject to modification. – In the absence of a specific provision to the contrary appearing in the agreement, a provision regarding the disposition of existing property rights and interests between the parties, alimony, alimony pendente lite, counsel fees or expenses shall not be subject to modification by the court.  § 3105.

Case Law:

Parties to a divorce action may bargain between themselves and structure their agreement as best serves their interests, Brown v. Hall, 495 Pa. 635, 435 A.2d 859 (1981). They have no power, however, to bargain away the rights of their children. Their right to bargain for themselves is their own business. They cannot in that process set a standard that will leave their children short.  Nicholson v. Combs, 550 Pa. 23 (1997) 703 A.2d 407.

Inside Pennsylvania Separation Agreement Law