What Is the Rule 11 Agreement in Texas?

Getting a divorce doesn't have to be overly complicated. If you and your spouse can agree on terms, you can use a Rule 11 agreement to speed up your divorce process.

What is the Rule 11 agreement in Texas?

Rule 11 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure allows lawyers and parties to any lawsuit to enter into a written agreement on any subject matter of the lawsuit. These agreements are called Rule 11 agreements.

A Rule 11 agreement is binding and essentially has the effect of a court order, although it is not a court order. This means that if one party were to breach the agreement, the other party could sue them for breach of contract.

Rule 11 agreements can be used in divorce cases to agree on the terms of the divorce. This can include child custody, child support, and related issues.

To be enforceable, a Rule 11 agreement must be in writing and signed by the parties themselves. The agreement must also be filed with the court.

It is important to note that Rule 11 agreements are not always enforceable. For example, an agreement that is unconscionable or that violates public policy would not be enforced by the court.

What are the legal requirements for a Rule 11 agreement?

Texas laws include many rules and regulations regarding Rule 11 agreements. Understanding what they are can help you make sure the documents you draft are recognized by the court.

A Rule 11 Agreement can be valid and enforceable if these conditions are met:

  •   Written: The document can be handwritten or typed, including an email message.
  •   Signed: It must be signed by both parties (and their lawyers, if any).
  •   Filed: It must be filed with the court. Reading the document into the record during a court case works, too.

How to draft and file a Rule 11 agreement

Creating a legally enforceable Rule 11 agreement isn’t difficult, but you must follow every one of the steps described below.

Here’s what to do to draft and file a Rule 11 agreement:

  1.  Create: Determine what you want to outline in the agreement. You could talk about things like child support, possession of property, or another part of your divorce.
  2.  Write: You can use a handwritten document or a typed file. You can also use electronic methods (described below).
  3.  Sign: Both parties must sign the document. If you’re using email, that signature must say something like:,“This signature serves as a Rule 11 agreement.”
  4.  File: Take your signed agreement to the courthouse and file it as part of your divorce.

Know that electronic signatures work in Rule 11 agreements in Texas. But again, these formats must clearly specify that the signature you’ve typed works as a Rule 11 agreement.

Could I use the Rule 11 Agreement in my divorce?

Yes. A Rule 11 Agreement can be a useful tool in a divorce case in Texas to help resolve disputes out of court.

Property division agreement example

If spouses have reached an agreement regarding their property division, they can create a Rule 11 Agreement indicating the terms of the division. This could include ownership of the family home and other real estate, financial accounts, and personal property.

Child custody agreement example

In cases involving children, spouses can create a Rule 11 Agreement to outline the details of their custody and visitation arrangement. This could include a parenting plan, a schedule for when each parent will have the children, and a plan for how the parents will make decisions regarding the children's education, medical care, and other needs.

Read: Child Custody in Texas: Everything You Need to Know


  • Review the agreement carefully. If you are unsure about certain terms or feel the agreement is unfair, don't sign it. It's important to fully understand the agreement and to only sign it if it meets your needs.
  • Use clear and concise language when drafting the agreement. This helps you avoid confusion and minimizes the risk of disputes later on. Make sure all terms are spelled out clearly and that there are no ambiguities.
  • Include all necessary terms and issues. This may include property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and any other matters that need to be resolved. If any terms are left out, it could create problems down the road.


Rule 11 Agreements. (October 2022). Texas Law Help.
Rule 11: Agreements to Be in Writing. (December 2023). CaseText.
Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.