In both contested and uncontested divorces, it is common for the parties to reach a settlement before proceeding to the next phase.
A written marital settlement agreement can help you and your spouse to resolve disputes that might hold up the progress of your divorce. You can also set terms for addressing future problems.
Creating your settlement agreement
Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, there are different ways you and your spouse can create your martial settlement agreement. Some divorcing couples choose to enter mediation before they file divorce papers. In a contested divorce, you can create a marital settlement agreement before entering litigation. In either case, you and the person you are divorcing should separately review the terms of your settlement with your attorneys before signing.
Although you can modify your marital settlement agreement, you may need to acquire a judge’s approval first. Usually, you can only change a settlement agreement if you or your former spouse experiences a major life change.
What to include in your settlement
Addressing the complex issues in your settlement that could cause future roadblocks is generally a good idea. Discuss your options for custody, visitation, and child support if you have children. You can also explore alimony and spousal support.
Many martial settlement agreements also include plans for dividing assets. If you can work with your spouse to separate assets fairly, the two of you may be able to reduce expenses and guard your property against taxation and fees.
Writing your marital settlement agreement can be a stressful undertaking. However, a written agreement can help you and the person you are divorcing avoid unnecessary conflicts and reach a fair resolution to your divorce.