Stipulation

By Lia Kopin-Green
/
May 12, 2022

What is a Stipulation?

A stipulation, or a stipulated order, is a statement of agreement between two parties regarding certain facts or issues. Some stipulations are issued orally, but the court usually requires a written and signed stipulation. Once they are officially submitted to the court, they are considered legally binding to the parties that signed it.

These agreements often include undisputed facts about a case or describe mutual decisions about legal procedures. Stipulations are considered efficient since they typically eliminate the need to have a judge decide on issues that are already agreed upon among the parties. In other words, they tend to simplify litigation so that time in court is spent dealing only with contested issues. As a result, stipulations can help speed up the jury’s process of reaching a verdict.

Stipulations can also be considered agreed-upon details included in contracts or agreements.

Key Takeaways

  • A stipulation, also known as a stipulated order, is defined as a legal statement of agreement regarding undisputed facts or decisions.
  • Stipulations save time in court since they include details that have already been agreed upon by the relevant parties.
  • Family law uses stipulations in divorce proceedings and child custody agreements.

Stipulations in Family Law

As it relates to family law, the court uses stipulations to establish facts in divorce proceedings that are "not in dispute." For example, the stipulation may include the number of children the spouses agreed to have had together. Consequently, the court will not question the number of children the couple had together during their marriage.

Moreover, stipulations may refer to binding provisions in custody agreements or parenting plans that specify certain rules and principles the parents are to follow regarding their children  after a divorce. Some common custody agreement stipulations include details concerning:

  1. Decision Making and Joint Custody - stipulations provide a suitable platform to describe how parents will be handling important decisions on behalf of their children in regards to education, religion, health care and other crucial issues.
  2. School and Extracurricular Activities - it is advised to include information in custody agreements that allows one or both of the parents to have a say in where the children go to school or which extracurricular activities they participate in.
  3. Child Care - some parents choose to include rules that ensure they both know who is caring for the children at all times. These clauses may also list certain people that are not allowed to care for the children.
  4. Travel - parents may choose to include provisions that they must obtain written permission from the other parent in order to take the children out of state. According to these travel-specific clauses, the parent may need to notify the other parent if he or she gets passports for the children.

Bottom Line

In all areas of law, stipulations can be incredibly useful and efficient. They are particularly prominent in family law as they help clarify significant details regarding a divorce, child custody arrangements, and other similar matters. Given that stipulations are considered binding to all of the parties that sign it, it is essential to make sure all of its details are correct and agreed-upon before they are presented to the court. A skilled family law attorney will be able to guide you through the process of submitting a stipulation or other vital legal documents.

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