divorce by agreement st. paul family law

Divorce by Agreement

The unfortunate reality in family court is that a significant number of cases require parties resorting to contested litigation in determining custody of the children parenting time child support or spousal support, and who gets what allocation of the property and the debts.

The good news is that parties have every opportunity of avoiding contentious court cases and all the stress and costs that go with it. There is no law preventing people from jointly fashioning their own agreement about what their court order should say. As a matter of fact, judges are more often than not delighted to see litigants resolve their own issues. There's an easy way to do most anything, and after more than 20 years of practice, I simply couldn't recommend more highly that parties make every effort to resolve their differences peacefully, limiting the lawyer's role to incorporating that resolution into a legally binding agreement.

After an agreement is reached, the attorney's role is often relatively simple: Reduce the parties' agreement into a written contract, which in a divorce context is called a Marital Termination Agreement. Each parties signs the agreement and I actually prepare the Judgment and Decree that the Court reviews. There are no nasty surprises and each party knows just exactly what the divorce decree will say in advance. Under some circumstances, there doesn't even need to be a hearing. Even in paternity and custody cases of unmarried parents, procedures like this are available.

As I said, there is an easy way to do most anything. There is certainly a more pleasant and less expensive way to proceed in family court.