Divorce is a challenging process to navigate. Many people at the end of a marriage find themselves facing emotions like nervousness, fear, and sadness. Given the large number of marriages that end each year, however, a huge number of people are forced to struggle through these emotions.
One of the most challenging parts of a divorce is the creation of a divorce settlement, which is a contract between you and your former spouse agreeing on the terms of the divorce and addressing a variety of topics including child support, spousal support, and how property should be divided. The following will review some important points to consider before entering into a divorce settlement agreement.
Properly Identify Assets and Debts
During your divorce, some assets will be classified as “marital,” or shared with your former spouse, while others will be separate, and belong to you alone. In most situations, anything that you owned before the marriage will remain a separate asset. Most things that are acquired during a marriage, however, are classified as marital assets. In some situations, it might be possible to discuss assets with your spouse in a civil and respectful way.
Other times, this might not be possible. When it comes to dividing assets in a settlement agreement, one of the best strategies to follow is to begin with the jointly owned assets and how they will be handled, and then address joint debts.
Address Visitation Schedules
After assets and debts are tackled, you should move onto discussing any arrangements that you might have with your children. This means deciding whether sole custody, split custody, or shared custody works best for your situation. While shared custody was once the most common choice, a growing number of divorced parents are entering arrangements in which children temporarily live with both parents. If you select sole custody, it is also important to address how visitation will occur.
Do Not Rush Into Signing the Agreement
To save costs and speed up the process, some parties download one-size-fits-all, do it yourself forms online. While these forms might help you save a small amount in the present, they often lead to complications that create substantial challenges in the future. Instead, if you plan on entering into a divorce agreement, you should make sure that you fully understand the terms of your agreement.
If you rush into signing an agreement and the court approves, you can suddenly find yourself locked into undesirable terms that are difficult to change. It is also common for the other spouse to begin acting in an undesirable way, but for there to not be any provisions in the settlement agreement that restrict this behavior.
Speak with an Experienced Divorce If handled improperly, a divorce can leave you facing many financial and emotional challenges. By retaining the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, however, you can avoid many of these challenges. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today to schedule a free case evaluation.