What to Include in a Divorce Agreement
In a divorce, nothing should be left unfinished or out of your settlement. Here are five things to consider in a divorce agreement.
In a divorce agreement, you’ll definitely want to consider and possibly include
- How property will be divided
- Custody and visitation schedules
- If or how much child support will be paid
- If or how much spousal support will be paid
- How post-settlement disputes will be resolved
If you’re negotiating or drafting a divorce agreement, nothing should be left up to guessing or doubt. Any concerns you or your spouse have should be considered and resolved before a judge signs the agreement.
1. Property Division
You and your spouse should consider how assets and debts will be divided. Chances are that you’re already thinking about this, but you shouldn’t leave any stoned unturned. Every property, bank account, and payroll sheet should be acknowledged and recorded in the divorce agreement. Recognize that California is a community property state, meaning that each spouse is entitled to half of all marital property (assets or income acquired during the marriage). Speak with a property division attorney to determine what you deserve and how you can make sure to claim it in your divorce agreement.
2. Child Custody and Visitation Schedules
If you have children, a custody and visitation schedule should definitely be included in your divorce agreement. Don’t leave anything out – too many couples end up in fights because their agreement didn’t clearly specify custody and visitation rights. You and your spouse can create a detailed parenting plan that specifies each parent’s responsibilities and arranged custody rights. Also, specify who will care for the children on special occasions like holidays or birthdays. One of our skilled child custody attorneys can help you get full child custody rights included in your divorce agreement.
3. Child Support
After custody and visitation have been determined, it’s time to see whether child support will be paid. Custodial parents, or parents that have predominant legal and physical custody of their child, may be eligible to receive monthly payments from the other parent to help financially cover the child’s expenses. In your divorce agreement, specifically include how much, how often, and for how long child support payments will be due. If not, serious financial and legal complications can arise down the road. Get in touch with a child support lawyer that can pursue and include favorable child support terms in your divorce agreement.
4. Spousal Support
Alimony, often called spousal support, are financial payments made from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Spousal support may be awarded to lower-earning spouses that cannot maintain their pre-divorce standard of living. Similarly to child support, the frequency, deadline, and amount of alimony payments should be clearly specified in your divorce agreement. The person paying support (PPS) may face serious legal consequences for not adhering to the spousal support order, so make sure the payment plan is thoroughly included in the divorce agreement. An experienced spousal support lawyer can help you get the alimony terms you deserve.
5. Post-Settlement Disputes
A smart way to avoid disputes after your divorce has been finalized is to have a specific modification protocol in your agreement. Going to court to modify a final divorce order can be extremely time-consuming and expensive; including a specific procedure for how these matters should be handled can be extremely useful.
If you’re debating what to consider in a divorce agreement and need an attorney, contact us. An experienced divorce attorney can help you reach fair divorce terms and draft a comprehensive divorce agreement for you. We’ll get you in touch with the right lawyer for your needs and preferences. Your first consultation is free. We’re here to help you 24/7.