Crystal Wright | April 2, 2023 | Divorce
Many divorces in Lawrenceville are settled through negotiations. First, the parties reach a mutual agreement on the terms and conditions of the divorce. Then, an attorney drafts a marital settlement agreement for the parties to sign and present to the court.
If a couple cannot agree on one or more divorce terms, the divorce moves to the contested court docket for the court to decide the matters. A judge considers the evidence each party presents during a hearing and decides the matters for the parties. All matters related to child custody are decided in the best interest of the child.
Courts encourage parties to mediate divorce matters to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.
A divorce settlement agreement can be used to settle matters related to:
- Child custody
- Property division
- Time-sharing agreements
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Division of marital debt
- Tax considerations
- Life insurance policies
- Inheritance rights
In addition to avoiding a long, emotional, and frustrating court battle, the advantages of a marital settlement agreement in a divorce in Lawrenceville include the following:
More Control and Flexibility
When a judge decides divorce terms, neither party is typically thrilled with the outcome. Judges cannot understand the entire situation by hearing a case for a few hours. Furthermore, judges might not use creative solutions that parties might use to create an agreement that works best for their families.
A collaborative divorce allows couples to work with their lawyers to identify their goals and needs. Then, they negotiate a settlement that protects everyone’s best interests.
An amicable split helps avoid bitter feelings that can continue to worsen and negatively impact a person’s future. Negotiating an MSA is less contentious than litigation and avoids the fighting that could be detrimental to the entire family, including children.
Narrows Issues for Litigation
Suppose you and your spouse can agree on all divorce terms except property division. Then, you could sign a partial marital settlement agreement for all issues other than property division. Therefore, the court hearing is limited to litigating property division, which saves time and money.
Produces a Better Parenting Agreement
When child custody and time-sharing are issues in a divorce, negotiating a marital settlement agreement can be the best way to resolve those issues. The MSA proposed to the court includes a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. The court must review the proposed agreement to ensure it is in the child’s best interest.
However, with an MSA, parents can be much more creative than the courts in scheduling and time-sharing. The agreement can be as detailed as necessary to meet the children’s and parent’s needs.
Creates a Legally Binding Contract
Marital settlement agreements are enforceable in court just as a judge’s order is enforceable. A party cannot arbitrarily change the terms of the agreement after the MSA is approved by the court and incorporated into the final divorce decree.
If either spouse wants to change the MSA terms, they must petition the court for a modification. As with other judgment modifications, the petitioning party would need to prove a substantial change that justifies modifying the agreement over the objection of the other spouse.
Another benefit of an MSA worth adding to this list is privacy. Litigated court cases can be a matter of public record. However, private settlements can often be structured so that the terms remain out of the general public’s view. Privacy and discretion can be crucial for individuals in high-net-worth divorces or celebrities.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Enter a Marital Settlement Agreement?
An MSA is a part of the divorce proceedings. Therefore, having an experienced Lawrenceville divorce lawyer represent you throughout the proceedings is always wise.
When parties use attorneys to negotiate a marital settlement agreement, it helps to reduce stress and emotions that can interfere with open communications. Each party directs their concerns and questions to their attorney. Then, the attorneys discuss solutions that might resolve the issues in an agreeable manner.
Furthermore, what begins as an amicable resolution for a divorce could quickly turn into a fiercely contested divorce case. You do not want to try to catch up if your spouse decides they do not want to be reasonable during settlement negotiations. Additionally, your spouse could change their position from what they promised when you agreed to enter an MSA instead of going to trial.
Hiring a Lawrenceville divorce attorney ensures you have someone to guide you through the entire process from beginning to end. Your attorney has your best interest as the top priority and fights to protect you and your children during settlement negotiations and court hearings.
Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Crystal Wright Law To Get Legal Assistance Today
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to Crystal Wright Law online by visiting our contact us page.
You can also visit our law firm at 440 S. Perry Street Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.