What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement?
If you’re in the divorce process in Nevada, one of the things that you may have heard about is a divorce settlement. You may wonder what a divorce settlement is and how it impacts your case.
You may wonder if you will need the help of an experienced Las Vegas family law attorney to ensure you reach a favorable outcome in your divorce settlement talks. Here’s what you should know about divorce settlements in Nevada cases.
What Is a Divorce Settlement in a Nevada?
A divorce settlement is an agreement between the parties about how to resolve contested issues in a divorce case. Rather than take the case to trial for a judge to decide, spouses can agree to resolve their case on terms that they approve. A settlement in a divorce case has the same effect as a judgment of divorce. It’s the final agreement in the case that sets out the terms of the divorce.
A divorce settlement can have a number of names. You may have heard a divorce settlement called any of the following:
- Mediation agreement
- Collaborative divorce
- Agreement of divorce
- Divorce settlement
- A stipulated judgment of divorce
- Marital agreement for termination of divorce
All of these terms mean the same thing. A divorce settlement is an agreement that the parties make that resolve the outstanding issues in their claim. The settlement removes the function of deciding the divorce award from the judge. Instead, it’s the parties themselves that create the judgment of divorce.
What Does a Nevada Divorce Settlement Contain?
A divorce settlement in Nevada is a resolution of all of the relevant issues that pertain to the divorce. In cases where there are no minor children, a divorce settlement addresses the relevant property issues. A property settlement must define what is and isn’t marital property. It must discuss real property which includes the marital home and any other pieces of land or homes that the parties own. It addresses financial accounts. Personal property including sentimental items is also part of the divorce settlement. If one of the parties is going to pay the other party alimony, the divorce settlement must contain the terms for alimony and a statement of whether or not the alimony is modifiable in the future.
If there are minor children, a divorce settlement includes provisions relating to the minor children in addition to the provisions about property. The divorce settlement must state who has primary physical custody and whether the parties share decision-making authority for the children. The settlement must include a schedule for parenting time that can either be very specific or generic. The settlement must address terms of child support. Terms for child custody and child support can change in the future if the circumstances surrounding the children change.
What Do I Do to Make Our Divorce Settlement Effective?
To make your divorce settlement effective, both parties must sign it. Once both parties have signed the agreement, you can submit it to the judge for final approval. If you’re able to resolve child issues with a settlement but not property issues, you can address just the issues you agree on by settlement. The same is true with property issues. You can ask a judge to decide child issues even if you agree on your property settlement.
What If I Forget Items of Property in the Divorce Settlement?
If you want a piece of real or personal property included in your divorce judgment, you must add it in your divorce settlement. If you leave something out, it’s difficult to go back and modify the agreement later. It’s important to take advantage of the discovery process to ensure that you have an accurate picture of the marital assets. If your spouse is dishonest about marital assets, you can hold them accountable. But if you simply forget or decline to include an asset or debt in your divorce settlement, it’s challenging to ask a court to add it later.
One notable exception is child support. Children have a right to child support until they reach the age of majority. You can ask the court to revisit child support if there’s good cause to adjust the order based on a change in income of a parent or the change in circumstances surrounding the children.
When Do the Parties Enter Into a Divorce Settlement?
You can enter into a settlement of divorce anytime after your divorce begins. You don’t need to sign a settlement before you file for divorce. A divorce settlement is something that you complete after the divorce formally begins.
You don’t need to be in a hurry to sign a divorce settlement. After the divorce begins, you have time to build your case. You can learn about how Nevada law applies to divorce cases and consider the best course of action.
A divorce is a significant life event. Your divorce settlement may impact your life for many years to come. It’s important to take the time to ensure that your divorce settlement is truly the settlement that you want to enter into.
What Do I Need to Know to Get a Fair Divorce Settlement?
If you like what your spouse proposes, it can be tempting to want to sign it right away. But it’s important to talk with our team of experienced Nevada family law attorneys to ensure that you understand what the proposed divorce settlement means. There might be ways that the proposed settlement could impact you and your children that you hadn’t considered.
Our experience can help you identify things that you should understand when you’re thinking about whether to accept a divorce settlement. It’s important to understand how the law applies to your case and what the judge might do if your case goes to trial. With full knowledge and complete information, you can rest assured that you’re making the best decisions for you and your children.
How Our Las Vegas Divorce Settlement Lawyers Can Help
Are you getting divorced? Are you considering a divorce settlement? We can help.
We can help you engage in settlement negotiations and draft a settlement agreement. With our legal team working for you, you can have the confidence to know that your divorce settlement represents your best interests under Nevada law. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation about your case.