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The importance of divorce settlement agreements

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2016 | Divorce

Some divorcees in California develop amicable and productive relationships with their former spouses. Unfortunately, many others eventually find themselves back in court arguing matters that should have been put to rest by their divorce agreements. When divorced couples become involved in legal disputes, judges make their decisions based on an interpretation of the divorce settlement agreement in place rather than the specifics of the issue at hand.

Divorce settlement agreements are legally binding contracts that are designed to protect the rights of both spouses. Disputes over divorce agreements are treated by the courts in the same way that contract disputes are handled. Judges tend to concern themselves with the specific language of the documents involved and the obligations of those who signed them rather than notions of fairness, foreseeability or intent.

The importance of divorce settlement agreements and the role that they play in any future legal disputes makes it important for spouses to thoroughly understand their rights and obligations before signing them. Divorcing spouses often have a unique understanding of each other’s thinking and behavior patterns, and these insights could help family law attorneys to draft documents that are designed to avoid conflicts in the future.

Attorneys could also suggest that married couples address potentially thorny issues like property division and alimony before the prospect of divorce appears likely. The lawyer could explain how entering into a prenuptial agreement may be a prudent step for a couple to take in a community property state like California. In many cases, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can make a marriage stronger and more likely to endure by addressing the root causes of fear and insecurity before they are able to grow a jeopardize and relationships.