A divorce settlement is a formal written agreement between ex-spouses that
addresses several issues, including child custody, child support, spousal
support, and division of property. While negotiating with a soon-to-be
ex-spouse can be difficult, most divorces are settled through negotiation
with the aid of a divorce attorney.
You do not have to enter a settlement agreement before you file for divorce.
This can be done at any time during the process, and it is highly recommended
that you consult with an attorney before agreeing to anything.
How does a divorce attorney help reach a settlement?
A divorce attorney will negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement,
as well as help you understand the terminology used in these documents.
They will request detailed information from your spouse that you will
need to make informed decisions. Your attorney will also carefully review
the language of your agreement to ensure nothing is omitted or overlooked
at the time the settlement is drafted.
What if I don’t agree with the settlement?
If you have issues or concerns with the proposed settlement agreement drawn
up by your spouse’s attorney, do not sign it. Instead, use it as
a starting point for negotiation. Even if your spouse’s attorney
gives you a deadline, you do not have to abide by it. While you may want
to resolve your divorce as quickly as possible, do not allow the process
to be rushed or agree to anything without all the information you need
to make a decision.
Can I be forced to settle?
No one can force you to settle until you are ready and satisfied with the
details of the proposal. You do, however, need to be prepared to compromise
and negotiate in good faith, rather than needlessly stalling. If you cannot
reach a settlement agreement that you are willing to accept, your attorney
can offer other alternatives, such as divorce mediation, arbitration,
or litigating your case in court.
Can a divorce settlement be changed after it is signed?
Once the agreement is signed, it becomes a binding contract that you and
your spouse are obligated to follow. If you both agree to change the terms
of the agreement later, you can enter into a “Modification Agreement.”
Any of the changes you and your ex agree to will be incorporated into
a new court order.
McKinley Irvin provides high-quality representation and personalized service
to individuals going through the divorce process. Our Portland attorneys
will help you understand your rights and responsibilities based on the
unique facts of your situation and explain how we can help with your case
moving forward. Contact us at our Portland office at (503) 395-0244.