Out of Court Divorce Settlement

Out of Court Divorce Settlement

Many people wonder, “Can you settle a divorce without going to court?” Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes!” The court system is there to resolve differences. However, using the court system is often long, cumbersome, and expensive. Often, families can work together and craft better solutions without all the added hassle of going to court.

Below, learn about out-of-court divorce settlements and what they mean for your divorce case.

Settle a Divorce Out of Court or Go to Court?

If you and your spouse do not agree on everything in your divorce, the process goes something like this:

  1. One spouse files a petition with the local court asking for a divorce.
  2. The other spouse is legally served with the documents and frantically hires an attorney to file an answer.
  3. The lawyer files a flurry of motions about how certain expenses, child custody, and other matters should be handled before the trial date.
  4. The parties spend months requesting information and evidence from each other.
  5. Other professionals like guardians ad litem, school personnel, social workers, or child custody evaluators may get involved in the process, interviewing the children and everyone who comes in contact with them.
  6. One or more court dates are scheduled months away.
  7. The parties lob accusations at each other.
  8. Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent.
  9. The court makes a final decision that neither spouse is happy with
  10. The parties spend a few more years (and thousands of dollars more) appealing the case or seeking post-judgment relief.

In contrast to this contentious and costly process, an out-of-court divorce settlement can result in:

  • Less animosity
  • Spouses working together toward a common goal
  • An atmosphere of cooperation
  • Solutions that are crafted specifically for this family
  • More adherence to the agreement since the parties crafted it.
  • Cost and time savings
  • A faster resolution
Out of Court Divorce Settlement

Contents of Your Out of Court Divorce Settlement

If you’re determined to settle your case out of divorce, be sure that you address the following issues:

  • Property and debt division, including how expenses should be handled before and after the divorce
  • Child custody, including which parent the children will primarily live with, who should make important decisions about the children, and what to include in the parenting plan
  • Alimony, including whether alimony should be awarded, to whom, in what amount, and for how long
  • Child support, including the allocation of any additional expenses like extracurricular activities or medical expenses

A collaborative divorce lawyer or mediator can help you understand these issues and your options.

FAQs About Out of Court Divorce Settlements

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about out of court divorce settlements:

How a Florida Family Lawyer and Mediator Can Help

If you are interested in seeking an out-of-court divorce settlement, a family lawyer can explain your rights and options. Carolann Mazza can help you file the necessary paperwork and work with you to craft a settlement agreement that is fair to you and your spouse. She also serves as a mediator when the parties want to work together to reach solutions aligned with their goals. She can explain how an out-of-court settlement can best serve the needs of you and your family. Contact her today to learn more.