The divorce process is complicated and challenging from beginning to end, as there are many roadblocks and unanswered questions standing in your way.
The sooner you understand what a divorce settlement agreement includes, the sooner you can devise a strategy for protecting your legal rights and getting everything that's rightfully owed to you.
Ideally, you'll create a divorce settlement agreement through some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. This gives you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse full control over the process, with a mediator helping to move things forward in a timely and efficient manner.
If you and your legal team are successful in resolving all issues related to your divorce, the details are finalized in a written agreement. From there, a family law judge will review and sign off.
In many cases, an informal court hearing is necessary, as this gives the judge the opportunity to ask some basic questions and ensure that both individuals understand the details of the agreement.
What should a divorce settlement agreement include?
There's no simple answer to this question, as it largely depends on the details of your case. Some of the most common aspects of an agreement include:
- Division of marital property
- Division of debt
- Child custody and a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- Child support, including who pays and how much
- Alimony, including who pays and how much
It's your hope that you're able to work through all these details without a formal court proceeding. In the event that you reach a partial settlement, it's possible to submit the remaining issues to the court. You lose control when you take this approach, but it may be necessary if you're unable to find common ground.
Negotiating a divorce settlement agreement is stressful, but the right approach can give you peace of mind. You don't want to make any mistakes during this process, as it could harm you on many fronts.
Make a list of what to include in the agreement, get ready to negotiate and compromise and work closely with your attorney to make sound decisions.
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