When both parties come to an understanding in a divorce case a separation agreement can be prepared and signed by the parties after consultation with their respective lawyers. The separation agreement provides the court a framework to resolve the case. The judge can grant a divorce knowing that the agreement was voluntary and understanding that the issues have been resolved between the parties. Some of the issues are alimony, child support, child custody, children visitation, child society and companionship, parenting plans, division of the marital assets, income tax issues, and the pension and retirement account distribution. If the separation agreement is acceptable to the Judge, he or she will approve it, and incorporate it into the judgement. Sometimes because of the clients circumstances the agreement will be referred to as a “contract” between the parties. If this happens the court will consider the separation agreement as a contract and it will always remain as a binding contract with “independent legal significance”. It is most helpful for the parties to work towards an agreement because if they do not make an agreement then the Judge at trial will make the final decisions for you.
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