Strategies for Achieving a Fair Divorce Settlement Outside of Court
The most well-known path to a divorce is through a lengthy set of court proceedings. However, this is not the only option. For many couples, it’s possible to achieve a favorable divorce outcome without the court’s intervention. This could save both parties a substantial amount of time, money, and stress while allowing for more creative and practical solutions.
Know Your Rights
Before you begin the divorce process, you should be aware that you and your spouse have the right to negotiate a fair settlement on your own. You can choose to draw up a mutually beneficial agreement without having the court decide on the terms of your divorce. The court is only required to review and finalize your divorce agreement.
Common elements of a divorce settlement include the division of assets, child support and custody agreements, and alimony. To pursue a divorce outside of court, you and your spouse must be willing to discuss all of these issues and come up with an arrangement that considers the best interests of all involved, including your children. You’ll then implement the terms in a written agreement before submitting it to the court for the judge’s final approval.
Consider Professional Assistance
If you and your spouse are particularly amicable, you may be able to draft a settlement agreement without the help of any outside parties. However, pursuing a no-court divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that you should forgo legal assistance. It is recommended that, at the very least, you each have separate counsel review your agreement to ensure that it is fair and legally binding.
You may also choose to have both parties be represented by your own divorce lawyers throughout the negotiation process, which can help ensure that each party’s interests are protected. Even if it saves time and money and you have a good working relationship with a lawyer who has helped your family in the past, you and your spouse cannot share a lawyer, however.
It may also help to enlist the assistance of a financial advisor who can help you divide assets fairly and come up with creative and equitable solutions. This professional could help you decide whether to sell property, stocks, and other assets.
In addition to legal assistance, couples may also benefit from mediation services. A neutral third-party mediator can help facilitate conversations and ensure that both parties are heard and respected during the negotiation process. This could be an appropriate option if you and your spouse have difficulty communicating or need help finding common ground.
Once you’ve decided to pursue divorce outside of court, you must be willing to engage in active and respectful communication with your spouse. This means setting aside any animosity or hurt feelings and focusing on understanding each other’s needs, wants, and concerns.
During this process, compromise is key. It’s unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on every point in the settlement agreement, so both parties should be willing to make some concessions in order to reach an agreement that works for both of you. Know where you’re willing to be flexible and use effective negotiation techniques, like brainstorming creative solutions or making counteroffers. Be prepared to meet in the middle and accept compromises that you may not necessarily love but can live with.
Negotiating a fair divorce settlement outside of court is a viable option for many couples. It takes some extra care, attention, and patience, but it can be the best path forward. However, a no-court divorce isn’t for everyone, and it’s a good idea to consult with a divorce lawyer before you decide to go down this route.
If you’re considering a divorce in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area, the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner can guide you through your options and provide legal advice tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today at 215-886-1266 to schedule a consultation.