Separation Agreements: How To Write A Successful Settlement
Here’s a proven fact: You need to follow some very specific principles to create an effective separation agreement or settlement that protects your family rights and lets you move on with your life.
Let’s look at 5 very important tips for drafting an effective separation agreement or proposal:
1. Be As Clear As Possible in Your Drafting
Be very clear and specific in your drafting the sections and paragraphs of the Minutes of Settlement.
For example, when you are stating that you or your spouse will have ownership of your vehicle, write the type and year of the vehicle, such as Bob Wilson will have ownership of his 2011 Toyota Camry.
Use plain language. Try to avoid any words or phrases where they could have more than one meaning.
2. Personal Property and Household Items
Make sure you and your spouse have separate lists of the specific household items. You will have a list of the personal property and household items that you will keep and your spouse will have a list of the personal property and household items that he or she will keep.
Attach these lists to your Minutes of Settlement.
3. Agree Now, Not Later
When you agree to agree about some issue in the future, you will most likely run into problems.
For example, you agree in the Minutes of Settlement to agree about what to do with your home at some point in the future. What happens if you and your spouse cannot agree about what to do with your home in the future?
You could easily end up back in court to deal with the house.
Here’s the bottom line: Always deal with every issue in your separation agreement or proposal in one document. This will greatly reduce the chance that your spouse will take you back to court.
4. Make Sure You Can Live With the Agreement or Minutes of Settlement
Don’t just sign Minutes of Settlement, a proposal, or agreement, just “to get it over with”. You must be able to fulfill your obligations under the agreement.
For example, if you must pay off certain debts within 6 months, make sure you have the finances or money to actually pay off these debts before you sign an agreement that you will do this.
5. Make Sure You Fully Understand the Terms of the Minutes of Settlement
As you prepare for your family court case, you should have already set out the court orders and results you want to get.
Make sure your goals and court order orders have a reasonable basis in law and fact in your particular case and circumstances.
Make sure you spend some time with your family lawyer discussing this important issue in your separation or divorce.
Oh, by the way, did you know you can protect your family law rights and get essential information on settling your family law issues with your former spouse with the daily indispensable family law advice and tips at my FREE Facebook group?
Go here to find out more now: Durham Region Family Law Group
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Do it now, while you’re thinking about it!