3 Things To Keep In Mind When Creating Your Own Divorce Agreement

Posted on: 23 December 2015

One of the most difficult things a person can go through is a divorce. After all, you thought you and your spouse would love each other forever. Fighting over who gets what can make the process even more painful and difficult to get through. That is why more ex-couples are coming up with their own divorce agreements. They don't have to fight in court over things and leave it up to a judge to decide who deserves to get what. Here are three things to keep in mind when creating your own divorce agreement.

1. It may be necessary to go through mediation.

Some ex-couples are in a good place and can be amicable to each other when discussing who gets what out of the shared material possessions. However, other couples just can't be friendly to each other when left on their own. That is why it is a good idea to go through mediation.

A mediator is a neutral third party who has no vested interest in the outcome of the meeting. That means, unlike your or your ex's lawyer, they aren't there to make sure only one of you gets a fair deal. The mediator's job is to find a way for you and your ex to reach a compromise and reach the best solution for both of you.

Going through mediation helps prevent the high costs you would pay if you had to fight your ex in court. It also helps you both to discuss the reasons you think you deserve to keep certain things in the divorce. A judge tends to see things as black and white, but a mediator will help you two talk it out and see where a compromise can be made.

2. You likely won't get every single thing you want.

When drafting your own divorce agreement, it can be easy to want to get everything. No matter what led to the divorce, your emotions are raw and you may feel you deserve everything. However, you have to let your ex get things as well. It can't be all about you - just like it can't be all about your ex.

The best thing to do is to make a list of everything you and your ex own jointly through your marriage. Divide the list up into things you absolutely don't want to live without and things that you would be fine without. That way, if your ex puts up a fight about something on your must-have list, you can offer them something you can live without in exchange for it.

Of course, that tactic may not work every time, but it will at least show you are making an effort to compromise with your ex. Basically, you need to be comfortable with winning only half of the time. Your ex has to win some as well.

3. It could take a while to reach an agreement.

Unless you two had very few material possessions, it could take a while before you reach an amicable divorce agreement. If you go through mediation, they will likely try to get through everything in one session. However, that session could last for many hours. 

If you all had a lot of material things to divide, you could find that it takes several sessions with a mediator to reach an agreement on everything. This is especially the case for those who have very busy work lives and can't spend hours at a time in mediation. 

It is best to approach the situation with the mindset that it could take several days before an agreement is reached. Don't get impatient or mad and confrontational with your ex over the amount of time they can devote to sitting down with you. Instead, use the extra time to think of anything you all may have missed that you can bring up at the next session. Contact a divorce attorney, like Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP, for more help.