What To Include In A Florida Divorce Settlement Agreement
Divorce can be a highly contentious legal proceeding when there is animosity and distrust between the parties, but you might be surprised to find that protracted court battles are somewhat rare. Many cases are resolved in full or in part by agreement, and Florida divorce laws actually encourage spouses to compromise on the key issues. There are numerous advantages including saving time and legal costs. However, entering into a marital settlement agreement also allows you to be creative about resolving divorce issues in a way that works for your reality.
Even when the parties are on good terms, it is still crucial to have legal representation when working out the details of a divorce agreement. This is an important document that affects your finances, future, and rights as a parent. Errors and omissions can harm your interests, so retain a Dade City divorce lawyer to make sure your marital settlement agreement includes the key points:
Though you are crafting your own arrangements, Florida divorce law is a good starting point for addressing property. The statute provides for an equitable distribution of all assets acquired during the marriage, so your agreement should classify marital and separate property. The lines can be blurred with certain assets, especially interests in a business. After listing marital assets and their values, the parties can work out distribution. The judge will likely approve any property division that is not manifestly unfair.
When addressing the details about spousal support in a marital settlement agreement, make sure to include:
- Whether alimony is bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent;
- How payments are made via lump sum or installments;
- The total amount or amount per month; and,
- Whether spousal support can be modified.
Aligning Your Parenting Plan to Child’s Best Interests
Even if you can fully agree on custody, visitation, and support, there are still legal requirements whenever a divorce case involves minor children. A judge must review the arrangement to ensure it serves the child’s best interests. Your parenting plan is more likely to be approved when it addresses each of the statutory factors.
If your agreement relates to child support, keep in mind that a parent cannot contract away their obligations by law. Parents are free to agree to an amount that is higher than the statutory guidelines.
How to Resolve Disputes Over Children
Another important provision in a parenting plan is details on what to do about disagreements over custody or visitation – particularly in the context of modifications or parental relocation. If you have a strategy in place, you are less likely to have to go back to court for resolution of disputes.
Court on a Florida Divorce Attorney for Help with Settlement Agreements
Knowing what to include in a divorce agreement is helpful, but you should entrust the details to an experienced lawyer. For more information, please call 352-567-0055 or go online to reach The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City. We can set up a consultation to discuss your case and strategies for settlement negotiations.