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Can You Write Your Own Divorce Settlement?

There are many cases in which divorcing couples can come to their own agreements about the issues of their divorce without having to set foot in a courtroom. But does this mean you can write your own official divorce settlement?

This is a question many divorce attorneys field from their clients. The better question is not can you, but should you? Attorneys will always advise you to let a professional draft the actual settlement document for your divorce — or, at the very least, review a settlement agreement you have created.

What if you want to write your own settlement?

If you choose to forego this advice and write your own settlement anyway, you first need to determine whether you’re only settling some of the issues of your divorce or if you will be settling all issues. You can write a partial settlement that only deals with some issues relevant to your divorce, and then ask your judge to rule on the rest of the issues over which there still exists a dispute.

You also must make sure you use the correct forms for your divorce settlement. Although there are some online, the better route is to go to your local courthouse and pay a visit to the clerk to ask for the relevant divorce settlement forms so you can be sure you are filling out exactly the correct paperwork. However, as most litigants will realize, there are many details that if omitted could have significant consequences. That is why it is always important to that you retain  an attorney to go over your agreement.

Remember: an oral agreement is not legally binding unless it is placed on the record, under oath. You must write down the agreement and make sure you avoid any potential loopholes. This is just one of many reasons why it’s advantageous to work with an attorney — a skilled law professional will understand the processes involved with settling a divorce and how to draft a settlement document in such a way that nothing will get left out or overlooked.

For further guidance on creating a sound divorce settlement, speak with a skilled divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.