A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that states the terms and conditions of the divorce. Many times, it is also referred to by other names, such as separation agreements, marital settlement agreements, mediated agreements, custody-support and property agreements, and separation and property settlement agreements. This document enables you to settle the terms of divorce. It is drafted before the mutual divorce proceedings between the spouses.
How to Draft Divorce Settlement Agreement?
The divorce settlement agreement is a crucial and essential document to settle the marital dispute between the couples. It is drafted by the couples to end their relationships without any ambiguity. The Divorce Settlement Agreement should be inclusive of all the possible points of settlement on various issues between both parties, so that their process of separating from each other is completed smoothly and the remaining issues are determined very clearly, to avoid any chance of ambiguity, so they could lead their lives peacefully after the enforcement of the Divorce Settlement Agreement. A divorce agreement is often drafted before the parties proceed with a mutual divorce. While drafting, parties sit across the table to sort out all the issues of disputes between them and decide whether to part ways or live together under the said settlement. It is often advised to consult an expert divorce attorney who can discuss all the relevant facts and sort them out while drafting.
Points To Remember While Drafting Divorce Settlement Agreement
1. Terms And Condition Should Be Clear
All the disputed issues must be specifically and clearly mentioned, those issues are given by both the spouses in the divorce settlement agreement to finally extinguish all the points of disputes and related issues.
2. Custody of Child and Right of Visitation
In the case, if there are children born out of wedlock of the couples, the issue of custody of their child, their maintenance and all related issues must be dealt/ mentioned in divorce settlement agreement. Any arrangement specified in the agreement between the parents of the child/ children should specifically deal with the issue of custody of the child keeping in view the mandate of law and the wishes of parents. This is one of the most important clauses of the agreement, hence this issue must be dealt specifically.
3. Issue of Child Support
In the cases of where children are involved, the issues are not limited to the custody of the child. Other issues such as child support after the divorce holds the great importance. It should be mentioned explicitly and with utmost clarity, that who will bear the expenses of the children. That it the divorce settlement agreement must specify which one of the parents will bear which cost and when, that includes expenses of education, traveling, clothing, medical etc.
4. Matters Related To the Estate- Its Division and Retention
The other important aspect of the divorce agreement is settling the disputes related to the estate’s division and retention between the ex-spouses. The process is more complex if the property is owned jointly and under bank loan, by the parties. In those type of situations, it becomes more important to specifically describe the clear arrangement of paying off such loans, either through EMIs or by transfer of the title after completion of the same.
5. Distribution of Assets
The issues related to the distribution of the assets which are created by the parties together, during their matrimonial life are sorted out, so that there remains no dispute between the parties as well as there will be no scope for erupting any new issue. Therefore, it further solidifies the need of an expert divorce attorney to draft the divorce settlement agreement.
6. Issue of Stridhan
Stridhan refers to the assets and the gifts that the female/wife receives from her relatives as well as the relatives of the Male/Husband, during and after the marriage ceremonies, it solely belongs to her for her lifetime, which can not be bifurcated, there it becomes essential to determine the Stridhan and clearly make a list of all the items which are included under it in the mutual divorce settlement agreement.
7. Permanent Alimony
In most of the cases Husband is the earning partner in the marriage, thus he has to make the payment of the permanent alimony to the wife which differs from case to case, and it is generally based upon certain factors such as financial status, financial capacity and the customs of the parties.
8. Clearing Debts
If any unpaid debt is left during the proceedings of divorce, it will be decided in the divorce settlement agreement only that who will be paying the unpaid loan/debt. If the parties have decided to pay in ratios, the ratios will be determined then and there only, the purpose is to avoid any confusion in future.
Divorce Settlement signifies that both parties in the marriage will be required to come forward and resolve their differences regarding all property, maintenance, child custody issues, etc. The court will then issue a ruling based on the terms agreed upon by both parties.
Read Our Article: Understanding The Legal Requirements For A Divorce Settlement Agreement