Why a Marital Settlement Agreement?
Your marriage is over. You do not want a divorce but feel you have no choice. Your spouse left the house and you are now being pulled in 100 different directions, with the demands of the kids, their school, the house, your job, the bills, etc. What about the kids? Who will get custody? Will you be able to keep the house? What about insurance? Every day is a challenge and you are struggling to just make it through the day. Everything you and your spouse worked so hard to build is now falling apart. The only life you have known for the past 20 plus years is crashing and you are powerless to stop this trainwreck. How can you keep your sanity intact without losing everything that is important to you?
Going through a divorce can be a grueling experience. It is stressful, expensive, and very time consuming to meet the onslaught of demands imposed by the process. If you are preparing for trial, you will be required to participate in the process by producing large volumes of documents, known as discovery, which may span over a period of many years. This process may seem endless, as you are working to beat the clock and get years of bank and credit card statements, emails, deeds, medical records, school records, tax returns, etc., to your lawyer by a specified time. The wear and tear of the process on your emotional well-being, can at times be daunting. Yet, you will have to preserve and be a brave soldier to get ready for trial.
STOP! There is another way to get through this ordeal with minimal emotional scarring and financial cartilage if you are willing and able to work with the other party. At first, this may seem impossible and you may opt to put yourself through the grueling process of trial preparation. However, if you can find the fortitude to look past the moment and embrace the future, you may realize that reaching an agreement is a practical solution to your problem. The decisions you make today will shape your tomorrow. Therefore, try to find a way to limit your emotional and legal exposure.
It will serve you well to hire a lawyer who shares your views on resolution and is willing to work with you to find a way to settle your case. There are several ways to reach an agreement and a creative lawyer will work with you to explore different options: collaborative law, mediation, conciliation, settlement meetings, negotiations, one on one with your spouse, letters, proposals, neutral case evaluation, etc. If it is your desire to settle your case, lawyers can be resourceful, when it comes to alternative dispute resolution.
What are the practical benefits of reaching an agreement? You and your spouse, with the assistance of counsel, can resolve all issues stemming from the dissolution of your marriage, without litigation. By reaching an agreement, you will have the certainty of knowing what the future holds for you and your family. A Marital Settlement Agreement is a very complex document, which embodies all the terms and conditions surrounding dissolution of your marriage. It resolves issues of property, support, and custody without the need of either party having to appear in court. Both parties must be willing to make adjustments and compromises in order to reach an ideal outcome. Reaching an agreement will cut down on the stress and emotional upheaval inherent in a contested divorce matter. Once the document is signed by all parties, it becomes part of the court file and will become part of the court order. If you want to get on with your life, consider a Marital Settlement Agreement.