Divorce agreements are not set in stone. There are always going to be situations where certain things are not agreed upon or some items are not covered in the agreement. When this happens, there is no need for the court to enforce the agreement because it was never in the best interests of the parties involved. In most cases, divorce agreements set the terms of the divorce itself and once they become final, both parties must follow them accordingly.
Divorce Mediation and Other Options
Usually, divorce agreements are legally binding, but they are not in the same place as divorce courts. There are ways that the terms can be changed, but when it comes to divorce mediation, there are ways the agreement cannot be changed. The reason is that divorce mediation is not a court trial. So, it is not up to the judge to make a decision about who gets custody of which kids, how much alimony is to be paid, or any other issue that would require a full-blown trial. Again, all of these items are subject to the laws in the state the parties are living in at the time of the divorce.
Some divorce agreements specify that either party can request that one spouse receive spousal support. In these cases, the spouses must file affidavits with the court. Even though this change is not required by law, it can be very helpful to the other spouse because it can prevent a long and drawn-out battle over child support payments. Because most attorneys do not like to go to court unless it has to be done, the spouses might find themselves on more of an even keel if they use this method of changing the terms of their divorce agreements.
Some divorce agreements also mention the right of one party to bring a claim of post-divorce spousal or child support enforcement proceedings against the other party. This is often mentioned to allow one spouse to continue to collect spousal or child support even after the dissolution of the marriage has been completed. However, once enforcement proceedings have begun, the spouse who pays the child support may no longer have the right to do so.
A few divorce agreements state that both parties are required to seek a divorce decree with the help of an attorney. Although this does not happen too often, it is always a good idea for the parties to seek legal counsel about any topic that they are having issues with. Attorneys can inform the parties about which court systems will accept their separation agreement, and they can also inform the parties about what is not covered by the agreement.
There are divorce agreements that require that both parties agree to certain post-divorce activities. For example, if one spouse wants to continue to pay child support while the other parent seeks visitation rights, then the spouses must enter into a parenting plan or child custody agreement. If the parents live near each other and do not have to travel, then they can easily draw up a parenting plan and submit it to the court. If not, then the spouses must try to work something out through mediation or their legal representatives.
Divorce can be a very stressful event for all involved. Hopefully, now that you know a little more about the laws surrounding divorce, you can make your divorce agreement as agreeable as possible. There are even divorce agreements that allow for changes to take place after the final divorce decree has been issued. This is important because as people change, so does the way that they interact with one another and with their children.