Divorce Settlement Agreement in Georgia

Divorce is undoubtedly a complicated legal process, but couples always have an opportunity to make it less stressful and lengthy by reaching a consensus regarding important divorce-related matters. Moreover, many lawyers advise recording all the spouses’ arrangements in the Marital Settlement Agreement, which they will have to present to the court for approval.

Creating a settlement agreement has many benefits. In this article, you will find some important information you need to know about this document. Also, here, you can see what the Georgia divorce settlement agreement looks like and what points must be included in it.

What Is a Divorce Settlement Agreement in Georgia?

A divorce settlement agreement is a document created by two parties who seek divorce. In this paper, they put on record all the agreements that they have regarding ending their marriage. As a rule, this written agreement is made between spouses who file for an uncontested marriage dissolution. However, even if your divorce is contested, you can resolve your disputes and create this document anytime during the trial.

Aspects that you can touch upon in the document, depending on your case, include:

  • Child custody and support
  • Visitation and parenting time
  • Alimony
  • Property and assets division
  • Debts division
  • Retirement plans and health insurance
  • Dispute settlement in the future.

Advantages of Using a Marital Settlement Agreement in a Georgia Divorce

A settlement agreement for divorce is beneficial for both spouses for the following reasons:

  • A fast divorce process. As a rule, when you create an uncontested divorce agreement, it means that you have nothing to argue about with your spouse and do not need many hearings to have your marriage dissolution finalized. In this case, all you need to do is provide the court with a settlement agreement along with other paperwork so that the judge can review it during the final trial, ensure it’s fair for all the parties, and finalize your divorce.
  • A cheap option to end a marriage. Having marital settlement agreement gives you an opportunity not to spend a lot of money on a lawyer since you don’t need to defend your interests in court. Moreover, you and your spouse can create this document on your own without an attorney’s help, which will also save you some money.
  • You will know what you are entitled to after a divorce. Since a divorce agreement is legally binding, both parties must stick to its terms. You can always check the written agreements to know your rights and responsibilities post-divorce. Also, you can address the court in case your ex-spouse fails to follow the orders specified.
  • Fewer conflicts in the future. Working on a settlement agreement will help you and your spouse avoid conflicts regarding divorce-related matters and save potentially friendly relationships after divorce. After all, discussing all the matters outside of the courtroom and avoiding legal battles will be less stressful for all parties involved.
  • Less stress for your children. When spouses cannot reach a consensus on child custody and parenting plans, the judge will have to make this decision. It can appear not very beneficial to one of the parties. Creating a settlement agreement means only you and your spouse can decide what conditions you want to include in it. This way, you will have enough time to think about a comprehensive parenting plan that will make the lives of your children as comfortable as possible.

What to Ask for in a Divorce Settlement Agreement

Overall, a settlement agreement is a document that spouses create to negotiate the divorce terms, which can include property division, alimony award, child support payments, etc., and make them beneficial for both. Here are some common things to ask for in a divorce settlement:

  • Receiving spousal maintenance. If your financial situation worsens considerably after your divorce or you need some time to get back to work, you can request spousal support as a part of your agreement.
  • Asking to become a custodial parent. If you feel it is in the best interests of your child, you can request to get primary physical and legal custody. It means that the kid will reside with you most of the time, and you will be responsible for all the decisions regarding their life.
  • Getting a bigger share of assets or property than your spouse. Even if your house or car is in your spouse’s name, you can still discuss this point and request getting it as a part of your agreement if you made a considerable contribution in acquiring it. Since Georgia courts divide assets and property on the principle of fairness, the judge will likely not object to this decision.

What Happens After Divorce Settlement Agreement Is Signed

Creating a marital agreement is needed not only to settle a divorce out of court but also to outline your rights and obligations in writing. The document will be enforced as soon as the judge approves your agreement and signs your divorce decree.

Please note that since the settlement agreement can be incorporated into the final divorce order, you have to stick to all the arrangements recorded in the document so as not to face any legal consequences in the future. Also, it is usually difficult to appeal your agreement once it is enforced. To overturn it, you will need some really serious grounds, for example, proving that you signed it under coercion.

Finally, if one of the spouses breaches the agreement, the second party can go to court and demand compensation or other actions depending on which part of the settlement was not fulfilled.