When both parties agree to the way in which a marriage will end, it is called an uncontested divorce. In these cases, spouses may agree to division of property, child support and time-sharing, and other aspects of the separation. They may do this on their own, or with the help of attorneys, mediators, and financial professionals. The document with the agreed upon terms is called a marriage settlement. The settlement in itself does not divorce the couple- it is submitted to the court so that a judge can make it official.
The Judge then issues a final decree of divorce based on the terms set forth in the settlement. When a Judge signs issues the final decree based on the settlement terms, it is legally binding, and it overrides any agreements the couple may have had in place before the settlement.
Couples can handle issues that may arise after the final decree in the same manner- they can agree upon new terms and submit an agreed upon entry to the court with the previous agreement attached. The Judge then signs the “Consent Order” and the new terms then supersede the old terms.
While documents for ending a marriage by mutual agreement are available online, it is advisable for each divorcing partys to consult with an attorney to ensure that their interests are considered in the drafting of the documents. Additionally, attorneys and financial professionals can assist in creating a settlement that addresses a scope of issues that the couple may not have considered, therefore helping the couple avoid the need for future documents to amend the agreement and even helping the couple to avoid future trips to court.
If you are involved in an agreed upon divorce, consider calling the professionals at Parra Harris Law, premier family lawyers in Northeast Florida: 904-900-1617.