You have finally decided that it is time to get a divorce, and you feel good about your decision. Still, you are not looking forward to going to battle with your soon-to-be ex during a divorce trial.
Fortunately, just because you are getting a divorce does not mean that the process has to be a hostile one. Instead of going to trial, you and the other party can engage in informal negotiations to address divorce issues, like alimony or property division. Here is a look at what divorce negotiation entails in Florida.
What is divorce negotiation?
Many divorce cases arrive at settlements before having to go before a judge at trial. The same can happen for you and the other party.
For example, perhaps both of you decide on your own that your future ex will hold onto the family home but buy you out so that you can buy a new home for yourself. You might also agree that both of you will make important decisions concerning your young children (you will have shared legal custody) but that the children will live with your future ex (he or she will have sole physical custody of them).
The court approval process
After you and your spouse reach a mutually satisfactory divorce agreement, you can record your final decisions in writing. Afterward, your written agreement must go before a judge, who has to approve it.
You can expect to attend a hearing with the judge, who will ask you some basic questions regarding the agreement. The judge’s aim in this situation is to make sure that you signed the agreement voluntarily and understand what is in it. If he or she believes that the agreement is fair, your agreement will receive his or her approval. This is why it is paramount that the terms of your agreement do not majorly favor one person over the other.
What happens if you do not reach an agreement on every divorce issue?
Maybe you and the other party can find common ground regarding asset distribution but cannot agree on the matter of child custody. In this scenario, you can produce an agreement concerning the division of your property and then rely on a judge to make a child custody decision for you. In both cases, you have the right to seek the most personally beneficial outcome possible during your divorce proceeding.