Drafting Divorce Agreements

Many people think that a quick, short divorce agreement is better.  Best to keep it short and simple, they think,

They may have good intentions, but in reality, a long, thorough separation agreement or stipulation of settlement helps resolve any ambiguities.  This prevents misunderstandings down the line.

In addition, especially with children, the state law sets forth a default child support amount, based on both parties’ income, certain deductions, and the number of children from the marriage.  A good agreement should recite the default amount, the agreed-upon amount and the reason for any deviation.

Remember, your agreement needs Court approval in order to obtain a divorce.  The judge wants to make sure that 1) each party knows what he or she is getting into, 2) that the agreement will not put a party on public assistance, if at all possible, and 3) the judge wants to make sure that the children’s needs are met.

Finally, an adverse unrepresented party can claim that he or she did not know what was signed.  This office makes sure that the agreement recites that the unrepresented party knows of his or her right to counsel.