So you have attended a mediation session or two and reached an agreement with your almost ex-spouse. You are glad to have your case settled. You are done, right? Not quite yet. There are still more steps in the legal process after the mediation is done. The formal divorce settlement agreement must be drafted (written up) and reviewed by you and your spouse and attorneys. Then other final documents will need to be drafted, filed with the Court, and approved by the Judge. You are in the final stretch but make sure that you get everything you need resolved, truly resolved, in these documents that will be very important. The qualified team of Family Law Attorneys at Cobb Cole can assist you with making sure you have what you need to move forward in a positive direction.
This is the document that itemizes all the important points that you and your spouse have agreed on in the mediation session or sessions. Even though mediation is much less stressful than traditional court hearings, it can still be a bit overwhelming and there can be so many things to keep track of. Do not rush in your review of the Settlement Agreement. Please feel free to ask questions of your Cobb Cole attorney and make sure that you fully understand all the terms especially, custody and parenting plans, financial details like bank accounts and spousal support, and retirement and insurance. You will be agreeing to follow all the terms and details of the Settlement Agreement, so take your time.
Parenting Plans, Custody Agreements
In addition to the Settlement Agreement, other legal documents will need to be included in resolving your legal case. If you have children, your attorney will draft a Parenting Plan that will spell out what you and your spouse have agreed upon in mediation regarding parental time, holiday visits, schooling, medical, and other decision-making authority. Your Settlement Agreement will cover the broader custody and spousal support terms aka alimony, while the Parenting Plan covers more of the daily issues. Again, review the documents carefully with your Family Law attorney from Cobb Cole to be sure you have everything covered and understand all your obligations (and your spouse’s obligations too). If you have young children, you will be following the terms for quite a while, so know what you need to do before there is a problem.
If you have joint accounts, how they will be divided should be part of your Settlement Agreement but you will still need to get all your documents together and notify the banks and other companies. If you have a name change as part of the divorce, that is another thing that you will need to update on your various accounts. If you have retirement accounts that need to be divided, your Cobb Cole Divorce Attorney will draft a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) that will be filed with the Court and sent to the Retirement Account administrator.
Your attorney will file the Settlement Agreement (after everyone signs it), other supporting documents, and the final Decree with the Court. Note, you are not officially divorced until the Judge signs the final paperwork. Again, go slow and make sure you understand everything you are agreeing to and signing. Asking questions is a great way to prevent future problems.
Skilled Divorce Lawyers of Cobb Cole
The team of Family Law Attorneys at Cobb Cole will help ensure that your Settlement Agreement covers all the necessary items and that you fully understand all the terms. They are ready to help make a difficult process easier for you.