Family Law 101 | What is a Rule 11 Agreement?

If you’ve been in the middle of the divorce process for more than 5 minutes, likely your lawyer has already been talking about “getting a Rule 11 Agreement” in place. Understandably, this may leave you scratching your heard. Rule 11? What about rules 1-10? They’re talking about the option of lawyers to enter into agreements pursuant to Rule 11 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (“TRCP”). The TRCP are the rules that apply to civil court cases (like family law) in Texas and set out the parameters for how litigation moves forward. Rule 11 allows lawyers, without the need for court intervention, to enter into agreements, memorialize them in writing, sign them, and then file them with the Court. Once those steps are met, the Rule 11 Agreement can be enforced by the Court if one party decides to stop living up to their end of the bargain. Pros: Avoid the need for a hearing but get the certainty of an agreement that’s enforceable in Court. Cons (ish): You have hold up your end of the deal. Here’s to many Rule 11 agreements in your future!