A Guide on Divorce Settlement Agreements

Do you wish to divorce your spouse? An out-of-court settlement gives you the freedom to divide property and raise your kids according to your wishes. The excerpt below discusses the various considerations you should make when preparing a divorce settlement agreement.

Consider Previous Contracts

Previous agreements such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements will significantly impact your divorce settlement agreement. For instance, if you had promised to leave the family home to your spouse in case of divorce, you cannot claim the property when preparing the settlement agreement. Some couples may opt to terminate these contracts if they feel that the terms are unreasonable.  

Financial Agreements 

A financial agreement is a document that details how a divorcing couple will share their property. Below are a few tips to help you create the financial agreement:

  1. Define marital property. For example, would you want to divide inheritance or property acquired before the union?
  2. Consider current debts such as mortgages and business loans.
  3. Superannuation benefits should also be included in the agreement.
  4. Does your partner need spousal maintenance? He or she may be unemployed or disabled. 

The financial plan should be signed and dated by both parties. Your lawyer could also advise you to get consent orders. They are similar to financial agreements. However, the lawyer will have to file these orders at the family court. 

Parenting Plans      

A parenting plan explains how a divorcing couple will raise their kids. It contains the following:

  1. Where the children will live. For instance, they may live with a parent who has a spacious home.
  2. Visitation. Parents that do not live with the kids would want to visit them occasionally.
  3. Alimony. The document also details the contribution of each parent towards the kid's upkeep.
  4. Communication. How will the kids communicate with their parents?
  5. People that have rights to the kids. These could include grandparents, close aunts and uncles.

Parenting plans can be rectified to reflect changing conditions. For instance, if one parent relocates to another country or can no longer afford to raise money for the children's upkeep, the contract could be nullified if the family court grants sole custody to one parent. The document can only be altered if both parties agree to the proposed changes. 

Seek independent legal advice before signing the financial agreement or parenting plan. A qualified and experienced family lawyer will negotiate the terms of the agreement and explain the implications of the contract.            

Out-of-court agreements are a cheap and convenient way to finalise your marriage. Hire a family lawyer to learn more.