What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
Divorcing spouses should first try to settle all issues related to asset distribution, alimony, and child support before going to court. A court may require you to go to mediation or arbitration instead of court. Mediation is an informal process where the mediator helps the two people involved come to a mutual understanding about what needs to happen next. Arbitration is another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where the arbitrator makes decisions based on the evidence presented during an arbitration hearing. An ADR process is a voluntary method of resolving disputes without going to court. Parties should be allowed to settle their issues without violating public policy. If the agreement does not violate public policy, parties may agree to terms that differ from those outlined by Texas divorce laws.
A valid marital settlement agreement in Texan allows divorcing spouses to save money, time, and stress by avoiding an adversarial divorce. Divorce agreements also improve parenting skills and reduce the chance of future conflicts. Your divorce is a matter of record, so if you decide to litigate, know that sensitive information about your marriage will be available to employers, snoops, and the media.
Settlements are generally the least combative means for sorting out the details associated with getting divorced. However, settlements may not be suitable for people who lack the mental capacity to handle their own affairs. Domestic violence is an issue during the divorce process. Spouses who are unwilling to cooperate or prioritize cooperation over personal interests may also find themselves in court.
Parties may divide their property and debts however they want in a settlement agreement. However, if there is no settlement agreement, the court will divide property and debts according to community property laws. Community property includes assets acquired during the marriage. Assets acquired before marriage are considered separate property. Divorce can result in either party receiving half of the community property. Community debts include any debt incurred during the marriage. A court may order the division of community debts.
Property division should be done fairly and equitably. All assets should be divided equally, except if there is an agreement between the spouses. If the spouses do not reach an agreement, then each spouse should receive half of everything. Marital property is divided equally between husband and wife. Property acquired before marriage is considered separate property. Property acquired during the marriage is considered community property. Responsibility for community debts is shared by both spouses.
Divorce trials are often stressful events for the people involved. Trials are expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally taxing. Settlements outside of court are usually much less costly, quicker, and more convenient than going to court. This quick primer outlines the steps needed to get an agreement approved by the court.
A divorcing couple should negotiate a fair settlement agreement before going to court. If they resolve all issues informally, the agreement should be approved by the court.
A judge must approve the divorce settlement before granting a divorce. Divorce decrees dictate what happens to the assets and liabilities of the couple after the divorce. The judge decides child custody, visitation, and alimony. If the judge doesn't approve one or more terms, he'll probably order the parties to negotiate on them. If they don't agree, the divorce goes to court.
A divorcing couple may reach an agreement on all issues related to the divorce except for child custody and visitation rights. If the parties cannot come to terms on these issues, the court will hold a hearing to determine who gets the house.
In Texas, divorce settlements are encouraged by the courts. Parties can settle issues regarding property division, alimony, custody, visitation, child support, and other matters. Divorce settlements are usually approved by the courts. Parties may also make agreements about issues that are not covered by the Texas Family Code. Self-represented parties should always consult an attorney before signing any documents or agreeing to anything. An experienced lawyer can quickly identify problematic clauses in a divorce agreement.
A court-rendered divorce decree should have provisions touching on several basic issues regarding divorce. Private divorce settlements should also address these issues. The length of the marriage should be specified. Facts relevant to the basis for divorce should be acknowledged. A party’s length of the marriage is relevant to issues surrounding the community estate and spouseless maintenance.
A divorce settlement may include provisions related to spousal support. Spousal support can help a financially dependent spouse during the time after the divorce when he or she is unable to work due to the loss of income. Some states require that there be a showing of need before any award of spousal support can be made. Other factors considered by courts in determining whether to grant spousal support include the duration of the marriage, the health and age of the parties, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and the relative earning capacity of each party. Spousal Maintenance Orders (SMOs) are typically used when there is a significant difference in income between the parties. In addition, they are often used to help pay off debts or provide child support.
A court makes a finding that the proposed plan is in the child's best interest. The court approves of the parents' agreement if it is in the child's interest. The court orders joint managing conservator status. The court gives both parents equal access to the child's education, medical care, and other decisions. Both parents get to decide who gets to travel with the child, but the parent who travels more often will be responsible for paying for the trip. The court sets up a schedule for holiday possession. The court orders the parents to share holidays equally. Child support is an important part of a divorce agreement. A judge may decide how much money you must pay your ex-spouse each month. You can also agree to provide medical insurance coverage for your children.
Divorce issues can be very complicated. You should always seek legal advice before making any decisions. An experienced lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you understand what you need to do next. Divorces can be very complicated, but there are many ways to settle them. You should contact an experienced divorce lawyer if you have any questions about how to handle your case at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.