One of the most common questions I get is what do we need to have in the agreement? One of the pitfalls of cases is that not everything is anticipated in the agreement. That happens quite a bit when people are representing themselves. You have to make sure that everything is disclosed and you need to make sure you cover all of the potential issues that need to be addressed. That includes how all property is going to be divided. When I say all property, I mean, all property. It needs to be listed out in terms of who gets the separate property, who gets set various accounts, and other property. All of that should be in the property settlement agreement.
If there is going to be alimony, how much that is going to be, and for what duration. That also needs to be in any kind of property settlement agreement. Also, if any debts are going to be responsible for what debts should be included. Often it’s very customary for a parenting plan to be a separate document though. It’s not necessarily required that it be a separate document, but it’s customary. In that parenting plan, you need to address everything, everything you can think of about who gets the kids, who get them on holidays, weekends, and special occasions. Furthermore, if there’s going to be child support you need to include that amount. Now, what the courts typically do is they will go ahead and run the child support formula in most instances. They’ll say, okay, this is the amount that would have to be paid if there was no agreement. Once that is stated on the record the courts typically ask the person, do you still want to go along with this agreement? Most people say yes.
You also need to have in the property settlement agreement a list of individual pieces of property, or there can be an agreement on that at some future point in time. People will agree that certain pieces of property are going to be divided, but it needs to be specified in there that this agreement does not cover items of personal property. So that’s something else that needs to be in there.
Often certain issues may be reserved for the future. So for example, let’s say that somebody has to refinance within a reasonable amount of time. That sort of language might be sort of left up in the air as to a date by which it needs to be refinanced. Sometimes it’s preferable to have a specific date in thereby which any kind of mortgage or car loans and so forth need to be refinanced. Of course, things like cars and such need to be referenced in the property settlement agreement.
That consists of today’s topic. If you have any questions at all, feel free to give us a call at (304) 720 4412 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.