It is no secret that settling a divorce is not easy. Even when the divorce itself is finalized, the ramifications of it can last for years afterwards.
One of the trickiest aspects of divorce, is achieving a fair divorce settlement agreement. To help ensure that you get the fairest agreement possible, here are some tips that you need to know:
Get Educated On Your Legal Rights
While you are still sorting out the financial aspects of your divorce, you will also need to educate yourself on your legal rights. After all, you’re entitled to a lot of things after your divorce, and probably more than you may have realized.
Start by coming up with a list of questions you have about your legal rights in a divorce. You can do your research online and ask your lawyer about these concerns. This knowledge will be vital when it comes to things such as child custody, alimony, and so on.
Know Your Financial Wants and Needs
In order to negotiate your way through the financial part of the divorce settlement, you must decide on your own wants and needs. To do this, you need to put together a list of your expenses and know your cash flow. This is the only way to justify the things that you are asking for. Your attorney will help you navigate through the negotiation process once you have all of this laid out.
When you are listing out your wants and needs, try listing them in order from most important to least important. It is impossible to get everything, but if your attorney knows what is most important to you, that is what they will focus on.
For help gathering your important documents, you can use this FREE Divorce Financial Documents Checklist
Create A Parenting Plan – Know Your Legal Rights
The future of your children is one of the most critical things at stake when going through a divorce.
You and your spouse are going to need to have a serious conversation in regards to whether you believe shared custody, split custody, or sole custody is the best route to take for your children. The custody decision and schedule is mostly up to the parents with the help of attorneys, counselors, and mediators. These days, it is becoming increasingly common for parents to choose arrangements where the children live with both parents.
In the event that you choose sole custody, however, you are also going to need to carefully work out how the visitation rights will work for your non-custodial spouse. You should be very specific about the days of the week and visitation times.
If the parents are unable to come to an appropriate agreement before going to court, the judge will make the final custody decision. The judge will take into account many factors but their main concern is deciding what is in the child’s best interest.
Figure Out Child Support
Child support is also something that will need to be carefully worked out in the divorce settlement agreement. You are not able to sign away the right of your children to receive support, but you are able to waive your own right to receive spousal support. There are specific guidelines depending on the state in which you live.
Although states have different guidelines, many of the same factors are taken into consideration. These factors can include:
- The income of both parents.
- Child support or alimony that a parent is paying from a previous situation.
- The price of childcare in your area.
- Healthcare expenses.
Check with the guidelines of your state to dive further into this information.
Never Sign Anything Until It’s Finalized
Last but not least, to ensure that you get a fair divorce settlement agreement, you will need to ensure that you read over the paperwork very closely and carefully before you sign. Once you sign, it’s done. Also ensure that the paperwork lacks spelling and grammar errors, as these can easily create opportunities for misunderstandings. It may seem like a daunting process to read over every paper but it is worth it!