This may be prepared before a divorce trial to address the various issues that will be examined during the upcoming hearings. Alternatively, the parties might create a divorce agreement through alternative dispute resolution paths. These may include methods like mediation or collaborative divorce processes.
A divorce agreement can help allow the divorce process to run more smoothly. Rather than relying on instructions imposed by the judge, the parties can make their own determinations regarding these issues, and then submit there agreements to the court to have it converted into an official court order.
What Does a Divorce Agreement Cover?
Depending on the circumstances, a divorce agreement may cover:
- Spousal support or alimony
- Property division
- Child custody and visitation arrangements
- Child support matters
- Other issues like improvement of marital property or shared business assets
Most courts would prefer that the parties cover as much as they can in a divorce agreement. This will help ease the burden of the court in defining settlement amounts, dividing property, etc. However, not all divorce proceedings involve a divorce agreement that is voluntarily entered into by the parties. In some cases, legal intervention becomes necessary if the parties can’t reach an agreement due to conflict.
Can a Divorce Agreement Be Changed?
Divorce agreements function basically like a contract between the two parties. A divorce agreement formed before the trial often ends up getting incorporated into the final divorce decree. The divorce decree is binding by law and violation of a divorce decree can result in legal penalties.
However, both divorce decrees and divorce agreements can be changed later on. Modifying a decree or agreement is actually quite common, especially when it comes to issues like child custody or child support, which require much adaptation as the child’s needs change over time. The parties would need to both agree on the changes, and they may need to submit their requests for modifications to the court to have it approved.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a Divorce Agreement?
Divorce agreements can often involve a number of different legal issues. You may need to hire a divorce lawyer if you need help negotiating, preparing, reviewing, or finalizing a divorce agreement. A qualified lawyer can also provide assistance if you need to modify a divorce agreement. Also, if you need to attend a court hearing in relation to divorce, your lawyer can provide you with legal counsel and representation during the process.