Getting Help With Your Divorce

How To Structure A Divorce Settlement

Divorce is a challenging process even if the two parties can handle the situation without fighting. Ideally, you'll want to come to a divorce settlement. It's important to understand what a settlement is in this context and how it will affect your future. Likewise, you should understand how a divorce attorney will want to structure the settlement.

What Is a Settlement?

The settlement is a written document that contains what the two sides can agree to. A divorce attorney will send the signed version to the family court. A judge will review it, and presuming they approve it, the document will conclude the suit needed to produce a divorce under state law.

How a Settlement Will Affect Your Future?

No surprise, but you'll no longer be married. You'll come away with whatever assets you can fit into the divorce settlement, too. Spousal support is also common for one of the two former partners.

If you have kids, child custody and support will fit into the agreement. Notably, these are the most likely issues to change with time. If a parent's income or living circumstances change, they can file for a modification that may partially or totally nullify the child-related sections of the divorce agreement.

How Should You Structure the Settlement?

The main power of a divorce settlement is financial. Foremost, you'll want to identify and list all marital assets before making an agreement. It's a good idea to go into negotiations over assets with an idea of what you must have versus what you'd like to have or what you'd happily pay someone to haul off.

You should try to be as practical as possible in structuring the settlement. If you need a place to live and raise a child, for example, you'll want to focus on either getting the house or obtaining enough support to buy or rent one. Extraordinary medical expenses should also fit in the support structure, and you should clearly state them.

On the child custody side of the ledger, it's a good idea to outline specific aspects of visitation and custody. For example, which parent will have the child for a certain set of holidays? Who will have the child on school nights, and who will have them on weekends? If one parent has an unusual schedule, such as working several weeks at a time on or off in the field, will they have the kid for a full week when they're off?

Contact a company like Budget Divorce Center to learn more.