A Fair Divorce: Is It Possible?
The word "fair" comes up every so often when couples divorce. Unfortunately, what some think of as fair may never enter into a divorce agreement. Even if you and your spouse make divorce decisions based on what you think is fair, things may not always work out as you expected.
Fair Agreements and the Judge's Approval
You may have heard a lot of advice urging divorcing couples to sit down and create an agreement. After all, who better knows how things should be decided than the couple? Granted, not everyone gets along well enough to come to any sort of agreement, but many couples do. The chances of having the judge approve of your kitchen table agreements are very good as long as two issues are abundantly clear:
- The agreement looks fair to both sides.
- Both parties have their own legal representation.
If both parties have their own lawyer, the judge is likely to approve the provisions and make things final.
Who Determines What is Fair?
When it comes to family law (and any other form of law) precedents guide decisions. Laws are one thing, but how judges have ruled on cases in the past usually inform their opinions on cases before them. This area of how legal cases work is pretty confusing for those just trying to get divorced. That is because some legal precedents are not fair, and neither are the laws judges use to make decisions. That means couples that end up having the judge rule on important issues like child custody or who gets the family home in divorce may not feel that a fair decision was made.
Having a Fair Divorce
Sometimes, fairness is best not left up to the judge at all. When you cannot decide on matters outside of court, things only get more complex. For instance, those fighting over child custody may have to undergo a test of their parenting skills when the judge orders them to undergo a child study. To avoid having something as personal as a divorce be decided by relative strangers, take the following actions as you begin to plan your divorce:
- Count on a good family law attorney to guide you and do so soon in the process. They know how often things left up to the courts go sideways and can help you work things out yourself.
- Consider using a divorce mediator. These professionals can help you decide on contentious issues and lead you toward a collaborative and fair resolution outside of court.
Find out more by speaking with a divorce lawyer.