Your home life can be as challenging as your work life. If you are leaving your SO, it is time you understood the settlement process to avoid going to court.
Marital matters can be a challenge to everyone. When your relationship is going well, things are brilliant, but once they are going badly it is a very different story. Prolonged periods of bad relationship experiences can lead a couple to drift apart. When they do, it is time to involve legal representatives to prevent a bad situation from getting any worse.
Whether you are going through a divorce, a separation, or simply dividing your combined assets, understanding the settlement process is crucial for all parties. This article seeks to explore the key aspects of the settlement process in relation to marriage. This should shed light on the steps you can take to protect yourself in a legal sense.
The Importance of Reaching a Settlement
When you first decide that you want to break from your significant other, you must talk through your decision with them if it is safe to do so. The more amicable your separation is, the better it will be for all involved.
The settlement process refers to the stages after this, when you and your former partner must decide on how to split the assets gained during your time together. Sometimes this can be an easy process, while other times it can be extremely difficult – especially in cases where abuse was involved.
Deciding to settle for assets prevents a married couple having to go through the court systems to decide on how the assets will be split. Settling out of court saves time, money, stress, and emotional damage. You will need a specialist settlement solicitor if you intend to separate from your partner in a legal sense.
Stages of the Settlement Process
If you would like to successfully settle with your former spouse out of court, here are the stages of the settlement process which ought to make it easier for you.
1 – Find a Lawyer
If there is the slightest hint of contestation, then you will need a lawyer. There will be large assets, such as your house, car, and savings pot, which must be split. It can be difficult to negotiate these items with a spouse, especially if you are no longer on speaking terms. A lawyer can advocate on your behalf, acting as a middleperson so that you don’t have to deal with potential abuse.
2 – Gather Information
Your lawyer will tell you to start gathering information. This is essentially collecting evidence to support your claims. For example, if the marriage ends due to infidelity, you may be entitled to more than the cheating partner is. Evidence gathered in marital affairs can include things like property valuations, debts accrued, and statements of income. Be as honest as you can with your attorney at this stage to prevent slow results.
3 – Identify the Issues
Next, you will need a reason to file for divorce. If there has been cheating or abuse involved, this is an open and shut decision. If not, irreconcilable differences are a common option for divorce.
4 – Mediation
Once your spouse knows you are leaving, they must take part in the settlement process with you. This means your lawyer and their lawyer can sit down in a room with the two of you and discuss who gets what. Once the mediation stage is complete, your lawyer will draw up a settlement agreement.
5 – The Settlement Agreement
Once everyone agrees on what to do with the conjoined assets, the lawyers will draw up settlement agreements which reflect everything you have discussed. You can view this statement and sign it if you are happy. If you are not happy, you may return to the table with your lawyers and battle it out.
6 – Going to Court
If you or your spouse refuses to review and approve the settlement, you may have to go to court. This costs more money and confuses any children in the situation. Once it is reviewed and approved, the settlement agreement goes to court for a judge to witness. If it is not approved, all parties can go to court to argue their case and the judge will apportion assets.
It’s Best to Settle
Understanding settlement agreements leads to the understanding that going to court is a bad idea. Resolve your marital disputes out of court unless you really must. Judges are impartial and can be almost cruel in the division of assets. It is far better to settle amongst yourselves.