In divorce cases where the separating couple manages to agree to the terms of their parting without the intervention of the Court, a settlement agreement will be drawn up and voluntarily signed by both parties. Such agreements are generally reached after mediation, which allows both parties involved in the separation to discuss the dissolution of their marriage and how they would like to approach their relationship going forward. Mediation sessions are presided over by an assigned impartial third party.
It is important for anybody considering signing a settlement agreement to remember that such documents are legally binding and he or she will be obligated to adhere to the terms discussed within it. For this reason, if you are attempting to complete your divorce without extensive court hearings, you should enlist the help of The Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell. Our team will stay by your side throughout the separation process and ensure you and your spouse reach a conclusion to your union that is beneficial for both of you. We will provide invaluable advice regarding all issues addressed in the settlement agreement, including the following:
Division of marital property
One of the most complex issues of any divorce is the division of marital property, which can become a cause of tension in even the most amicable of separations. Marital property does not generally refer to everyday items such as kitchen appliances or minor decor. Rather, the term “marital property” denotes major assets, meaning the division of marital property may decide which party takes the family home. It is of the utmost importance that you seek advice from a team of legal experts before agreeing to any terms regarding the division of marital property. Your attorney may find no problems with the proposed terms, although in other circumstances they may suggest a number of changes to the plan or re-write the document altogether.
Division of debts
Debts may sometimes be included in the portion of the settlement agreement which pertains to marital property, but if the debts are many, or one party is particularly concerned with how they will be handled, they may warrant their own entry. While the division of debts seems like it should simply be a matter of each party agreeing to pay half, it is rarely that simple and the intervention and guidance of an attorney is often necessary.
Custody and visitation
If a marriage produced a child, the issues of custody and visitation are likely to be at the heart of the settlement plan. The terms reached regarding custody and visitation will determine how often you are permitted to see your children and may recognize either you or your former partner as the primary physical custodian. We believe the welfare of the children involved should take precedence in all divorce proceedings and will do everything in our power to facilitate a swift resolution to custody and visitation issues, one which will grant your children a stable home life and plenty of time with both parents.
A final word
A settlement agreement should always be pursued before a separating couple takes their case to a judge. Tackling issues pertaining to the divorce outside of a courtroom will shorten the divorce process while simultaneously saving both parties a great deal of financial and emotional strain. The Law Firm of Caryn S. Fennell has observed that couples who complete their divorce through a settlement agreement generally find themselves on pleasant terms post-separation sooner than those who pursue a resolution through the Court.