Negotiating the terms of a divorce agreement is almost never easy, but it gets even harder when the two parties are not on good terms. Despite this, settling out of court is usually the best option. Not only can this save you money, but it can also help to avoid a judgment that isn't in your favor.
What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement
Going through divorce outside of the courts usually means that you will be creating a divorce settlement agreement. This will help you decide how to deal with property division, caring for your children, spousal maintenance, and other important aspects of divorce. There are a few steps you should go through to settle a divorce out of court.
Step 1: Speak to a Divorce Lawyer
Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you avoid penalization from the courts. Whether that is by missing a deadline or something to do with your case, it will keep you protected and focused.
Step 2: Talk to Your Spouse
Although you are separating, you should still meet with your spouse and have a discussion about what you each want. If you can find a middle ground it will make the entire process a lot easier.
Step 3: Gather Your Financial Information
If you are looking for child support, spousal maintenance, or property division, you need to have all of these documents outlined clearly. This will help you to make your case appropriately.
Step 4: Create a Parenting Plan
If you have children then this is a step you cannot miss. You will need to decide your parenting schedule, how you plan to co-parent, and how child custody fits into the agreement.
Step 5: Work With a Mediator if Necessary
Settling out of court can be difficult if you do not have a third-party. You should not feel pressured into signing anything that you do not feel comfortable with.
Step 6: Submit Your Divorce Agreement to the Court
After creating the agreement, you can both sign it and submit it to the court. Be sure to have your attorneys with you when you present it to the judge.
Should You Settle or go to Court for your divorce?
Most couples try to settle things on their own without going to court. If you are still on good terms, settling outside of court can be a quick and easy option. Because settling outside of court makes the divorce process faster, you save money. If you choose to settle your divorce outside of court you will still need to hire an experienced family law attorney to finalize the documents.
Although settling outside of court is the more cost effective option, divorces don't always end on the best terms, stalling negotiations. This is when it's best to take your divorce to court, when you can't come to an agreement.
Yes, going to court may be more expensive and time consuming but sometimes it's necessary. There are a lot of assets at stake in a divorce and you want to make sure you are compensated fairly. A judge will make sure assets are distributed in a just manner.
If you are on good terms with your ex then it's best to settle outside of court and avoid the cost and stress. If you can't come to an agreement for assets then you should hire a divorce attorney and take the divorce to court. Before making your decision to settle or go to court, speak with a divorce attorney to find out which is best for you.
Schedule a free consultation to find out which option is best for you.