What is a Rule 69 Agreement?
Family law cases, particularly those involving divorces and the parenting time of children, can be complicated. When the terms of these cases are ruled upon by judges, rather than the parties themselves, the lead-up can feel even more stressful.
If the parties are able to come to terms on any, or all, of the issues at hand themselves, they can enter into a Rule 69 agreement, which is legally binding. Issues agreed upon in the Rule 69 agreement will therefore not have to be brought up in trial.
According to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure, Rule 69 agreements are only valid and binding if one of the following is true:
- The agreement was made in writing and signed personally by each party involved, or by their counsel on the party’s behalf.
- The terms of the agreement were stated on the record before a judge, commissioner, judge pro tempore, or a certified reporter.
- The terms of the agreement were stated in an audio recording made in front of a mediator or a settlement conference officer appointed by the court.
The agreement will not become binding until it has been submitted to, and approved by, the court. Judges also have the power to reject a Rule 69 agreement. This may occur if the agreement is not in the best interests of the children involved, was signed under duress or similar circumstances, or is in any way unfair. Courts will not challenge a valid Rule 69 agreement, however, unless a defect in the agreement has been proven by the party challenging it.
- Rule 69 agreement orders may not be modified until at least one year has passed from their finalization, unless there is a reason for the child’s endangerment that requires an earlier modification.
- Rule 69 orders may be modified if the custodial parent has received military orders requiring them to move.
- Rule 69 orders may be modified if a parent is charged with domestic violence or crimes against children.
Because Rule 69 agreements become binding when approved by a judge, it is important to consult with a family law attorney prior to entering into such an agreement in order to ensure that the terms are favorable. These agreements can potentially last until the children involved become legal adults, so all parties involved should be particularly discerning when it comes to the issues within them.
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling family law cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.