Understanding how to successfully draft and negotiate your Separation and Marital Settlement Agreement is one of a divorce attorney’s most important jobs…..don’t trust your future to anyone without the experience to get the job done.
When your marriage dissolves, there are numerous issues to be decided—-who will have custody of the children? What will happen to the house? Who will pay the mortgage? How will the assets be divided? Who will pay the credit cards? How will the kids’ college education be funded?
All these issues and more can be addressed by successfully negotiating a contract with your spouse. These contracts may be referred to by a variety of different titles—Separation Agreement, Property Settlement Agreement, Marital Settlement Agreement, Separation and Custody Agreement, and so on. All of them perform a vital function in divorce and family law, which is to resolve and settle issues that might otherwise have been decided by the Court system in a potentially expensive and time consuming proceeding.
But preparing and negotiating these agreements requires that the attorney understand the laws governing many facets of Virginia divorce and family law. Once an agreement is signed, its provisions are binding on the parties. With respect to child custody, visitation, and support issues, the Court will retain the power to make later decisions affecting the children that may differ from the terms in the Agreement. But on the issues of property division and spousal support, the Court does not have the authority to change the parties’ valid agreement. So it is important that your separation agreement is drafted and negotiated correctly and with a full understanding of the laws governing Virginia divorce and family law.
Don’t go it alone. Get an experienced attorney on your side to make sure your divorce agreement is done right.