In re Estate of Hereford
In In re Estate of Hereford, 162 W. Va. 477, 250 S.E.2d 45 (1978), the Court discussed the importance of certain words used in divorce orders and property settlements, including the word "attached."
The Court stated that parties in domestic relations cases may agree to anything in their property settlement agreement, "as long as it is approved by the circuit court." Hereford, 162 W. Va. at 487, 250 S.E.2d at 51.
The Court stated that parties could specifically "contract out of any continuing judicial supervision of their relationship by the circuit court." Id.
The Court additionally held that "if it appears to the court that the terms are fair and reasonable the court may approve them, ratify them or merge them, and by whatever words the court uses they shall become part of the decree and binding on everyone including the court." Hereford, 162 W. Va. at 487, 250 S.E.2d at 51-52.
Finally, the Court stated:
In the absence of a specific provision to the contrary in a property settlement agreement appended to, made a part of, or incorporated by reference into the court order, which provision specifically and unambiguously denies the court jurisdiction . . . it shall be presumed that . . . a provision for support is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the circuit court. (Hereford, 162 W. Va. at 487-488, 250 S.E.2d at 52.)