Contact Our Irvine Divorce Law Firm for the Dissolution of Your Marriage
The filing of a petition for divorce and its service upon the other party begins the divorce process, which will end in the dissolution of the marriage. However, this process requires the parties to reach many agreements and make compromises before the divorce order is final. In the legal world, this process is known as “settlement” — i.e., the process by which two adversarial parties to a legal proceeding voluntarily agree on certain matters. An Irvine divorce attorney can help you reach a settlement agreement with your spouse.
Elements of a Divorce Settlement Agreement
Ideally, a settlement agreement will resolve all of the important issues in the divorce. If complete resolution through a settlement is not possible, the parties may be able to settle as to some matters, but ask the divorce court to resolve others. A divorce settlement agreement may include any of the following provisions (and more):
When the parties to a divorce reach a settlement, its terms will be incorporated into the divorce decree, thereby becoming a legally enforceable order. If either party violates one or more of the terms of the settlement agreement, the other party may use the agreement to petition the court for an order to enforce it. For more information about enforcing the provisions of a divorce settlement agreement, please contact an Irvine divorce attorney.
When to Settle
Settlement can occur at any point during the divorce process. In fact, the law actually encourages divorcing couples to resolve as many of their disagreements as they can voluntarily before seeking judicial intervention. However, even the most contested divorces can be resolved in a settlement.
Divorcing couples should enter into settlement agreements only when they have enough information to make an informed decision. For example, assume that one spouse owns a business, while the other spouse is a stay-at-home parent. In a divorce, each spouse is entitled to half of the marriage’s community property (property acquired during the marriage). In the example above, the spouse must know how much the business is worth in order to divide it fairly. As such, divorcing couples should generally consider settlement only after extensive discovery has occurred.
How Do Couples Arrive at a Settlement Agreement?
Reaching a divorce settlement can take many months of negotiations between the parties and their lawyers. While a divorcing couple may be able to work out their issues on their own, that is usually not the case. Some couples may have such an unhealthy relationship that dealing with one another directly is impossible, and others may have assets so extensive and valuable that they would prefer to leave the property division to a professional. Whatever the case may be, mediation is often an effective tool for arriving at a settlement agreement. In divorce mediation, the spouses and their attorneys hire a neutral third party (called a mediator) to meet with them and help them resolve contentious issues through a variety of creative problem-solving exercises. This type of conflict resolution generally works best for couples who approach it in good faith and are willing to compromise.
Contact Our Orange County Divorce Settlement Attorneys Today
The Irvine divorce attorneys at Seastrom Law understand that discretion is necessary when handling divorce cases in California, particularly where the parties involved are high net worth individuals or celebrity clients. Because we understand the sensitive nature of these issues, we guide our clients through the process in a manner that eliminates unwanted attention and ensures that the divorce is handled quickly and efficiently. Call 949-474-0800 today or contact us online.