You are eager to finally get divorced and experience life on your own terms once again. However, your biggest fear is going through a hostile divorce process before you experience the freedom that divorce will bring.
The good news is that your divorce process does not have to be acrimonious. Instead, you and the other party can work together to achieve an outcome that satisfies you both — without all of the drama typically seen in a divorce court on television. Let’s take a look at how you and the other party can minimize conflict during the divorce process in Georgia.
The informal negotiation process
The reality is, most people settle their divorce cases before ever having to proceed to trial. In many cases, this is because the two parties who are getting divorced decide to complete informal negotiations. During the negotiation process, you and the other party will discuss how you would like to handle issues like the division of property. As an example, you may decide to keep the family home, while the other party chooses to keep more of the retirement assets.
In addition, during divorce negotiations, you can discuss how to handle child custody if you have young children. For instance, you could both agree to have legal custody of the children, where you jointly make decisions about their welfare. However, perhaps you could receive physical custody of the children since you have decided to keep the house.
The court’s approval of your agreement
Once you and your future ex-spouse have sorted out your divorce issues, you can record your decisions in a settlement agreement. You will then submit this agreement to a family law judge for approval. The judge will ask you questions about the agreement during a court hearing. For example, he or she may ask you if you fully understand the terms of your agreement.
The judge’s goal during the hearing is to make sure that neither of you coerced the other party into creating and signing the agreement. The judge will also make sure that the settlement agreement does not favor either of you. If the judge is satisfied with your responses, your agreement will receive approval. An attorney can guide you through the process of creating a settlement agreement, making sure to protect your rights and best interests both short term and long term.