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Settling out of court can be a wise move during divorce

You are trying to wrap your mind around your current reality -- that you are headed for divorce. The aspect of getting divorced that probably makes you feel the most anxious is fighting with your future ex about how to split property.

Trials on television might look glamorous, but real-life trials can be a lot more stressful. This is why it may behoove you to settle your divorce out of court since you have the option of staying out of an El Paso courtroom. Here is a glimpse at how this process works.

The settlement agreement

Whether you decide to use collaborative divorce, mediation or informal negotiations, you and your future ex may be able to resolve various divorce issues, including how you will split your assets and even who will pay alimony, as well as an appropriate alimony amount. You can then finalize your decisions in a comprehensive written agreement.

Once all of your decisions are in writing, you can present your agreement to a judge. The judge will ask you some questions during a hearing to make certain that you understand the agreement you signed. He or she will also check to see that you signed the agreement voluntarily, not by force. Your agreement should easily receive court approval if the judge thinks that it is fair overall, not favoring you or the other party.

What happens after the court approves the agreement?

After a judge approves your settlement agreement, the court will give you a divorce decree, which indicates that your marital breakup is official. The decree spells out how you have resolved major issues with your ex. Besides asset division and alimony, here are some key issues that your settlement and decree will cover:

  • The splitting of debt
  • How you will resolve other monetary issues
  • Child support (who will make support payments, who will receive payments, and how much)
  • Child custody (where the children will live, and how visitation will work)

It is possible that the judge will approve certain parts of your settlement agreement, but not others. In this situation, you will most likely need to continue to negotiate on them. If you are still unable to resolve these issues, you have no choice but to let a judge will decide the outcomes of these issues for you. Still, either way, you have the right to seek the most personally beneficial outcomes possible in light of the circumstances of your divorce.

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