The term divorce comes with a lot of complex processes. And the reasons for breaking any marriage also vary from one to another.
However, if both the spouses are on friendly terms and want to end things on a happy note, then certainly the best idea is to get things finalized by a divorce settlement agreement.
So, what is this agreement?
It is basically written documentation of all the essential things that need a proper settlement between the spouses while getting a divorce. For instance, assets distribution, child custody, spousal maintenance, parenting plan, schedules, etc. This agreement is also known as a separation agreement.
Here’s everything you need to know about the divorce settlement agreement.
What to Ask for in a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
Check out the below list of things that you should ask for in a divorce settlement agreement:
- House or the sales proceedings
- Co-parenting plans & schedules – including holidays.
- Relationship building
- Spousal maintenance & child support
- Life insurance
- Equal splitting of the retirement accounts & all other assets
How to Write Up a Divorce Settlement Agreement: 7 Steps
Before drafting your divorce agreement, you must remember that you are writing a legally binding agreement. When completed, this contract will address the assets distribution, child support, and various other legal issues.
In fact, this paper is soo powerful that it has the complete power to shape the entire liabilities and rights of the former spouses. That’s why it is more than necessary that you give attention to all the details while making this agreement.
Don’t know the proper ways to write up a separation agreement?
No worries, just go through the following steps properly, and you will be all ready to go:
Step 1: Start with the Basics
The first & foremost duty of yours is to get hold of all the necessary legal forms from the court. Like any other legal contract, the process is the same.
You need to start by specifying the full name & other relevant details of the parties linked up with the contract. Here, the other party will be your spouse.
Step 2: Include the Details
Always be careful in providing all the related information. Otherwise, a simple mistake is enough to cost you big.
Remember, there is no scope for making mistakes here. All information provided must be true & precise.
This kind of detail basically includes the following things:
- Wedding date
- Separation date
- Full name, address, and age of the children from the marriage (if any)
- Grounds of divorce
- Present and permanent address
- Bank accounts and numbers
- Income and any other financial statements
Step 3: Verification of the Contract
Both you & your spouse must confirm that you comply with all the terms and conditions of the contract as stated (such as your divorce will be completely uncontested).
So, the better is to take the signatures of both parties on the contract papers to avoid having any future confusion. Besides, by signing the contracts, it will undoubtedly make the agreement more effective.
Step 4: Identification and Distribution of Properties and Debts
The distribution of assets & properties in divorce tends to vary from one state to another, depending on the laws of that state. Usually, most couples come to a round figure by mutually settling things with each other.
On the other hand, the couples who cannot mutually agree with their terms take help from the divorce lawyers to arrive at a settlement that will benefit both parties.
While distributing the assets, one crucial point to keep in mind is the joint debts, such as bank loans, mortgages, car installments, credit-card debts, and many more. Make sure to talk & sort out these things properly before heading out for a divorce if you want a smooth procedure.
If you both agree to pay all these debts jointly, then there is no issue. Well, the problem and several kinds of disputes mainly occur if there is a disagreement between the spouses.
Now, for the individual debts, then, in that case, the person who takes the responsibility will be held liable for repaying it within time.
Step 5: Parenting Plan & Schedule for Child Custody and Visitation
In this step, you need to have a face-to-face discussion with your spouse regarding all the parenting plans & schedules if you have a child together.
Such as, you should make the decision of what kind of custody is the most appropriate one, based on your current situation, ranging from joint, shared, or sole custody.
In case you don’t know which one to go for, then don’t hesitate to take legal assistance from experts. As they can guide you in the right direction with their expertise on what to do and what not to do, keeping your child’s welfare the 1st priority.
Now, for the parenting plan and schedule of the non-custodial parents, make sure to keep their visiting hours and various other rights in the contract.
Try to keep as many as details on the contract paper, like be specific regarding the days of the week, start and end time of the visitation hours, how the weekends or the holidays will be spent.
Remember, the more you will be specific about these topics in your separation agreement form, the lesser there will be chances of any trouble or misunderstandings in the future.
Step 6: Agreement on Child Support and Alimony
Child support and the alimony should be calculated properly based on the guidelines provided by the law.
This calculation is mainly done based on the financial stability and condition of the spouses. Make sure to include all the clauses, amounts, and other vital things in the agreement to avoid future hassles.
Step 7: Review the Contract Once More
After all the above-mentioned things are done properly, your last job is to give a thorough check on all the documents to make sure there are no errors.
Otherwise, a small mistake is enough to ruin the reputation of your case, which you will certainly never want to. Hence, polish your contract and review everything for the very last time to leave no room for any errors or omissions.
Hopefully, you have now developed a clear concept regarding the divorce settlement agreement after going through the article.
Although this settlement agreement has no hand in ending your marriage, it clears up the way of initiating the divorce procedure. So, don’t take it lightly, even by mistake, as it will play a great role in your divorce procedure.
And, for any kind of problem, make sure to take legal help from an experienced divorce lawyer. Right from doing all the paperwork to offering the right guidance, you will find them in every step. Besides, the sooner it will be solved, the lesser you will face the extra hassles and costs.