When a divorce is settled, the end is certainly near. Settlement, in some cases, only comes after months of negotiations and stressful disagreements. A settlement is an agreement, but it's not a simple, single document – it's so much more. Read on and find out more.
When Will Your Divorce Settlement Happen?
Only when all main divorce issues are decided do settlements happen. Both you and your spouse must agree on several important provisions and, most importantly, the judge must approve of them. Usually, settlements happen after the parties agree on things and then these agreements are put into writing. Once all the separate pieces that make up a settlement are complete, you are well on your way to your divorce being finalized. However, things are not that simple for some couples. If you two don't agree on any one settlement provision, things cannot move forward until you do. Usually, disagreements are settled through the below actions:
- Your lawyers negotiate between themselves.
- The judge makes a ruling in court after both sides have had their say.
- Mediators are brought in to help the couple come to an agreement on the issues.
- Many settlement agreements are hammered out when the couple, accompanied by their lawyer, face each other across a conference table to discuss things.
It's worth noting that when a couple already agrees on something, it should be made legal and binding as soon as possible. That tends to make the entire settlement process shorter, less stressful, and less costly all around.
Understanding Important Settlement Issues
Divorce issues that need to be settled are as unique as the situation warrants. Those who have children under the age of 18, for instance, will find that their divorce settlement contains several more provisions than those with no young children. Also, financial matters can make a settlement more complex and lengthier. Those with high asset levels, who own businesses, and who have a lot of income to consider may have settlements that take many months to be resolved. In most cases, though, settlements will be made up of the main issues listed below:
- Debts: who pays what. Marital debts can include vehicle loans, mortgages, credit card debts, and more.
- Assets: who gets what. Marital debts can include bank accounts, homes, investment accounts, jewelry, and more.
- Children: who has custody, who has visitation, and the visitation schedule and rules. Also, who pays child support and how much it should be is an issue.
Know your issues and identify what you can compromise on before you begin negotiations. Speak to a family law attorney to learn more.