By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
An agreed order begins with a dispute. The husband or the wife file a motion. It could be a motion to compel production of documents; a motion to freeze assets; a motion to return property; a motion for contempt. The motion arises out of a dispute of the parties, during the ongoing divorce proceedings.
Under normal circumstances, a judge who is assigned to the main case, will hear all the motions that go along with it. The lawyers will have to appear in court on the motion to either advocate or defend the motion. Sometimes there are affirmative defenses to the motion, that is, a reasonable excuses as to why the motion arose in the first place. The judge will hear affirmative defenses and then rule, either granting or denying the motion, and issuing an order from the bench.
But sometimes, by merely filing the motion, the disputed issue can be resolved among the parties without the need for going to court. This saves the parties attorneys fees, time and money. Once the motion is out there, the parties can agree to resolve the dispute reasonably. So on a motion to compel production of documents, for example, the parties can conceivably decide together on an extension of time and a deadline by which the documents will now be due. This agreement is reduced to an agreed order, and is fully enforceable by the judge. On a motion to freeze assets, perhaps the parties can agree as to which particular assets to freeze. This agreement similarly will be reduced to a court order, signed by the judge and fully enforceable by the court. On any motion, the return of personal property, contempt, attorneys fees, anything, can be agreed upon by the parties, reduced to a court order signed by the judge, and then fully enforceable by the court. Enforcement can be by contempt, imprisonment, fines, fees, and other sanctions.
Agreed orders are just like other orders signed by the judge, but without the need for a hearing, saving the parties time, money, and stress. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com for more information.