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Most divorces cases end in settlement.  For many families, it is essential for the parties to enter into a comprehensive settlement agreement, which addresses numerous issues including, among other things:

  • Custodial issues, such as how major decisions will be made for minor children and each parent’s access schedule with the children;
  • What will happen to the former marital residence, including whether one party will retain it, or the parties will sell it (and procedures for its sale);
  • What will happen with financial accounts, such as bank, savings, brokerage, and retirement accounts;
  •  Whether either party will pay the other spousal maintenance, or if both parties will waive spousal maintenance;
  •  How much child support the non-custodial parent will pay, whether this amount will deviate from the presumptive amount under the Child Support Standards Act, and complex child support calculations necessary to ensure the agreement is enforceable;
  • Who will pay for the children’s health insurance; and 
  • Whether one party will pay for the other’s matrimonial counsel fees.

Once a comprehensive settlement agreement is reached, parties can promptly obtain a judgment of divorce on the ground of an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship for at least six months (i.e., a no-fault divorce).

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