Saturday, December 12, 2009

What You need for a Healthy Divorce Agreement's Avoiding an Unhealthy Divorce Agreement probably needs reading along with my Mediation without a lawyer?.  Especially look at the comments to that article.  I have edited out some of the hot topics

There is no "master list" that will help identify every unforeseen situation. Obtaining sound professional advice, reading and understanding your agreement drafts, discussing issues with friends or family members who have gone through the process all can help you avoid an "unhealthy divorce agreement." From my experiences, both personally and professionally, here are five "hot" topics you should address:


Avoid Ambiguous Terminology. The most common example of ambiguous terminology- "the ability of the parties to pay." Your ex-spouse may claim poverty or loss of employment just before the college tuition or camp bill is due. And if he or she has no liquid assets to help pay these expenses, you may get "stuck" paying the entire bill! Be specific when it comes to how medical bills or extra curricular activities should be shared. Use percentages and dollar limits so that precise calculations can be made.


Define Ways and Means for Defending Your Agreements. Parties can legally bind themselves to certain terms but, too many times, they don’t live up to what they agreed. How will you enforce your agreement when your ex-spouse refuses to reimburse you for a few thousand dollars of medical expenses? Filing legal motions are costly, time consuming, and usually invite counter claims. Having your agreements state that the "non-complying party" bear all legal costs relating to the enforcement of your agreement could prove very effective in convincing your ex to live up to his/her responsibilities.
And give How to Have an Amicable Divorce a read, too.  When I am approaching any settlement offer with a client, I find that most are not thinking of what happens after the Final Hearing and I have to direct them to think about life post-divorce.  That is the focus of this article.

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