Can You Agree To Disagree In Your Divorce Settlement?
If you and your spouse could agree on everything, you would not be getting divorced. Somehow, though, going through a divorce is just as stressful as staying in an unhappy marriage. Once your divorce petition reaches the court, you begin the process of reaching an agreement with your spouse about property division and parenting time. You will have to negotiate with your spouse about money, debts, and parenting, instead of silently blaming your spouse for problems related to these matters. Couples whose marriages have weathered tough times will tell you that sometimes the best solution is to agree to disagree. How does agreeing to disagree work in a divorce case, though? A Birmingham divorce lawyer can help you resolve issues of property division and parenting time, even those issues where it seems impossible to reach an agreement.
Parallel Parenting or Parenting Plan Loopholes?
Most couples can finalize a marital settlement agreement (MSA) and parenting plan during divorce mediation, thereby avoiding the need to go to trial. In your parenting plan, you must be specific about which parent is with the children on which days of the year; this includes the option to have the children spend a particular holiday with one parent in odd-numbered years and the other on even-numbered years. Regarding the “which parent has the final decision about X” questions on the parenting plan, you have the option to decide that you must reach an agreement on questions about matters such as education, extracurricular activities, and non-emergency medical care when these questions arise.
This is only sometimes a good idea. It can lead to conflict, and even litigation, about major expenses for the children, such as orthodontia and summer camps. If you and your spouse were at odds over parenting during your marriage, then you can opt for parallel parenting, where, after your divorce, you do things your own way during your parenting time, and your ex does things his or her own way, but you don’t interfere in each other’s parenting decisions. If this happens, you must complete the decision-making provisions of your parenting plan in minute detail.
What to Do When You Reach an Impasse on Property Division Issues
If you and your spouse cannot agree on certain matters in mediation, your case goes to trial. In some cases, the divorce trial goes on for years. Sometimes the judge legally dissolves the marriage, making you officially single, even when some property issues remain unresolved. At that point, the court proceedings between the former spouses over the remaining property issues become similar to a business dispute between former business partners, except that they take place in the family court. One instance where the courts finalize divorces even when property issues are unresolved are when the wife is pregnant by her new boyfriend or when the husband’s new girlfriend is pregnant. This way, the new parents are free to marry each other.
Contact Peeples Law About Finalizing Your Divorce in Time
A Birmingham family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce without going to trial or, if necessary, after one or more trials. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.