You are beyond ready to get divorced so that you can move forward with your life — apart from your spouse. However, you feel apprehensive about going toe-to-toe with your future ex-spouse at a divorce trial.

The good news is, your divorce process does not necessarily have to be a contentious one. Rather than going through traditional divorce litigation, you and the other party can go through the informal negotiation process to resolve your divorce matters, like property division and alimony. Let’s take a glimpse at what informal negotiation involves in the state of Georgia.

The divorce negotiation process

In many divorce situations, couples are able to reach settlements prior to going to trial. You and your future ex can have this same experience as well if you are willing to find common ground when addressing all of your divorce issues. For instance, maybe you would like to keep the family house. Your spouse may agree with this as long as he or she can keep another asset of similar value, like another property that you both own.

In addition, you may reach an agreement on how you will handle child custody. For example, maybe you will assume physical custody of your children, meaning that your children will reside with you. Meanwhile, the other party will share legal custody of the children with you, meaning that both of you will play a role in making decisions about the children’s upbringing. These decisions include where the children will go to school and what religion they will practice, for instance.

Court approval of your agreement

Once you and the other party agree on how to handle your divorce issues, you can spell out these decisions in writing. Then, you can submit your agreement to a family law judge for approval. Next, the judge will hold a hearing, where you will have to answer questions about your agreement. The purpose of the hearing is to verify that you both entered into it voluntarily and comprehend its contents.

The family law judge will approve your agreement if it appears to be fair. This is why it is critical that your agreement does not favor you over your future ex-spouse, and vice versa. An attorney can guide you in pursuing a just and mutually beneficial agreement through the information negotiation process in Georgia.