Definition of Divorce Settlement Agreement
A divorce settlement agreement (which may also be referred to as a Separation Agreement; Separation and Property Settlement Agreement; Custody, Support, and Property Agreement; or a Mediated Separation Agreement) is the form used to document all agreements reached in the divorce. Issues that may be included in the divorce settlement agreement include child support and child custody issues, spousal support payments and division of property.
Divorce settlement agreements may be created before or after the separation or the couples file for divorce. They are generally created and reviewed by divorce lawyers so all additions and corrections can be made to protect the rights of each spouse. Most couples prefer to reach a settlement agreement prior to going to court, which can be much less expensive. If both spouses settle divorce issues prior to court a lawyer can draw up the Divorce Agreement, which then becomes a binding contract. If spouses cannot agree, a judge will likely make the decisions for the couple in court.
Keep in mind even if you and your spouse amicably agree on divorce issues, it is always a good idea to have a divorce lawyer review the proposed divorce agreement. Do not feel pressured to sign any type of agreement. Hiring a lawyer and making sure your interests are protected does not have to create animosity. Remember, your spouse's divorce attorney does not represent you, and they will not care whether the divorce settlement agreement provides you with adequate financial resources and protection after the divorce.
« Back to Glossary