How to Negotiate a Divorce Settlement
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.