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Understanding a divorce settlement and sticking to it

No matter if a divorce is amicable or contested, and whether a Virginia couple has children or shared real estate, the final result of the divorce process will be the settlement. This legal agreement protects the rights of both parties and lays out all aspects of the divorce, from property division to alimony and visitation plans. Typically, attorneys draft the settlement, and either or both parties may propose modifications. Once the agreement is deemed acceptable, it is signed by both parties and the judge.

According to legal professionals, the voice of each member of the divorcing couple should be heard during the drafting phase of a divorce settlement. While an attorney is trained to write the settlement, all divorce situations are different, and only the divorcing couple can fully understand their personal position. Both parties should also ensure that they fully understand the language of the settlement prior to signing in order to avoid future disputes.

Most experts agree that deviating from a divorce settlement, even when an individual has the best intentions, is never a good idea. If one party sues the other for violating the terms of a settlement, it could lead to unnecessary court appearances and legal fees. Individuals facing the end of a marriage should keep in mind that a judge will default to the settlement agreement if a dispute arises.

A divorce settlement is a legally binding contract, and drafting it on one's own may result in a weak agreement and the need for costly post-divorce modifications. Turning to a family law attorney to help work through the details and negotiate the terms is typically in a person's best interest during a divorce.

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