For many cases, rather than going to trial, a marital settlement occurs that ends the case. Settlements serve as an alternative path from litigation through trial. Most settlements are achieved by negotiation between the attorneys and the parties agree to terms of settlement. In Family Law, settlements are very common in marital cases and paternity cases.
Settlements Give Both Parties More Control of Final Decisions
The majority of dissolution of marriage cases end in settlement. Settlements are a great way to end a marriage as amicably and beneficial as possible by putting the two parties in control of the decisions. Settlements can be reached at any time over the course of the case, and it is common for some parties to have an agreement about the major issues in place before the dissolution of marriage case is ever filed. Many times, the parties try and work with a mediator or another agreed-upon third party to assist them in reaching fair and reasonable agreements. Marital settlements are considered contracts and can be enforced with contract law. Although it is okay to have some vague and ambiguous agreements in the settlement, when there is an agreement on a major and contentious issue, the best course of action is to fully flesh it out with explicit terms and clarity to reduce the risk of a challenge.
Why Are Settlements So Important?
Settlement agreements include timesharing, who pays child support, how is the school designated, how transportation costs are divided, IRS exemptions, which parent pays for insurance, and uncovered medical costs to name just a few.
Settlements Make Sense For Unmarried Couples
With the rise of children being born into unmarried couples, paternity settlements have become ever more important, especially if the parents are not together. When a baby is born to unwed parents, the father of the child has to be acknowledged by the mother as the father and must sign an affidavit at the hospital to be added to the birth certificate.
Paternity Cases and Marital Settlements
At some point, it will be important to start the paternity case, starting with a Petition to Determine Paternity, which establishes the legal father, custody arrangements, and child support. Settlement agreements are important and ideal in paternity cases to ensure that all the bases are covered when it comes to the rights of the parents and the wellbeing of the child.
Akilah Harris Can Help You With Marital Settlements
When consulting with a new client about filing a divorce in Florida, we usually ask if they have already discussed a settlement with their spouse. A Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract between divorcing spouses agreeing to set the terms of their divorce. A Florida Marital Settlement Agreement is also commonly known as: MSA, Florida Divorce Settlement Agreement or a Florida Property Settlement Agreement.
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Are you going through a divorce or trying to retain custody of your child? Do you need help with Estate Planning? Maybe you need help with something else that involves your family? At Akilah Harris PLLC., we understand that family law cases are uniquely stressful and often take a heavy emotional toll on families. Our family law offices in Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale Flordia offer compassionate and thorough legal counsel to our clients. Consult with us when you need to protect your finances, assets, and time with your child. In these highly personal disputes, you need to rely on an experienced Broward County Attorney who knows how to defend your rights.