A divorce settlement agreement is a contract outlining the agreements made between divorcing spouses. All of the issues surrounding a divorce, such as alimony and the separation of community property, are settled out-of-court by the two parties negotiating with one another. This type of agreement is generally used in uncontested divorces.
- What Does the Settlement Agreement Include?
- Is a Divorce Agreement the Same as a Separation Agreement?
- Do I Have to Have a Divorce Agreement?
- What If We Can Only Agree on Some Issues?
- Will the Court Automatically Approve Our Agreement?
- Should I Contact a Divorce Lawyer to Help Me Negotiate a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
The agreement can include agreed-upon terms for issues such as:
- Child support
- Child visitation
- Child custody
- Division of property
- Mortgage payments on any shared property
- Spousal support
- Division of marital debts
No, a separation agreement is an agreement created between two people who are still married, but are contemplating divorce. This type of agreement primarily exists to provide a temporary solution to any immediate problems at a separated couple might face, such as who will live in the marital home and who will have primary custody of any children.
A divorce agreement is never legally required. However, it is still a good idea to have a divorce agreement because the agreement decreases the number of issues a divorce judge needs to decide in court. Also, it is helpful to have the agreement for enforcement when a spouse does not fulfill the promises made in the agreement.
An agreement where only some of the issues are decided is called a partial divorce settlement agreement. The document will include only the issues that have been agreed upon. All other issues will be resolved at a divorce trial.
There is a good chance that the court will approved your agreement. Courts are usually reluctant to interfere with a divorce settlement agreement unless:
- A spouse claims the settlement was not entered into voluntarily
- One spouse does not understand their rights regarding property distribution
- A spouse is giving up a lot of assets without receiving anything in return
- The custodial parent accepts significantly reduced child support or waives their right to it
- One spouse gives up their right to their spouse’s retirement accounts
Yes, you should be represented by a divorce lawyer in any divorce proceedings. A lawyer is vital to negotiating a divorce settlement because you want to ensure a fair, equitable agreement.