Summary in Divorce
divorced makes for agreements -- meetings of the mind by which a couple
resolve their differences concerning asset and liability division,
alimony, health and life insurance, legal and physical custody, child
support, visitation, medical insurance and expenses and college. In
these agreements -- which are also called separation agreements,
property settlement agreements or marital agreements -- divorcing
couples divide the goods they accumulated during the marriage and
establish obligations to one another that endure after they part ways.
Agreements take shape verbally, during negotiations conducted by the
parties, their lawyers, mediators, an even an arbitrator, but they are
always put in writing, and they are legally enforceable as contracts.
At other points in a relationship, however, couples frequently
formalize understandings in writing. These agreements are antenuptial
(or prenuptial), which are signed before marriage, or postnuptial,
which are signed after marriage but before divorce.
Courts recognize that these agreements are negotiated under
circumstances that make them different from commercial contracts. Like
all contracts, however, marital agreements must be negotiated by people
with a capacity, who make an offer and an acceptance. An agreement may
not be so one-sided as to be unconscionable.
In general, a property settlement agreement is like cement: when it is
done, it is done. After a divorce is final, it is too late for a change
What Samuel Goldwyn said about oral agreements ("An oral agreement is
not worth the paper itís printed on") applies to marital agreements.
In general, courts do not recognize an oral or verbal agreement between
divorcing spouses, particularly when there is no evidence other than
the testimony of one spouse.
When a couple cannot reach agreement together, their case goes to
trial, and the courtís decision and judgment substitutes for an
Find Divorce Professionals
We have an ever-growing list of divorce professionals that contribute to DivorceDex.com.
To view a list of professionals in your area, please select your state:
ALERT: If you are a divorce professional (attorney, mediator, counselor, financial planner, etc.) generating new clients by joining the directory is easy and free.
#209: Long distance phone bills should be addressed and often shared by both parents if the estranged parent lives outside the child's area code. All situations are unique, so having this in writing is often recommended.
QDRO Preparation - QdroDesk™ is an industry proven online service providing an instant, easy, accurate, and affordable method for obtaining Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs).
Online Divorce - With or without children, 123DivorceMe.com is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to file your own uncontested divorce.
Online Parenting Class - Avoid the hassle of completing the mandatory course by taking the "Positive Parenting Through Divorce" class online.