By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
Email: [email protected]
When going through a divorce, many people become overwhelmed by the financial impact it has on their lives. Trying to maintain and pay for one household is enough stress for most of us, but now, paying for two households and the added expenses of litigation can cause many to practically have a melt-down. Most of my clients in Maryland ask how to reduce their litigation costs and I always respond with the same answer: try to reach a settlement of your issues.
Even if you can’t settle all of the issues, reaching a settlement on some will still reduce the amount of litigation costs incurred to each party.
Benefits of a Settlement Agreement
There are a multitude of benefits to reaching an agreement. One of the most important is that it allows for the parties to set the terms and conditions of:
- Division of property, including:
- Real property (the house, who will stay there, who is going to pay for the house)
- Personal property/furnishings (who will get the dishes and the bedroom set)
- Assets (bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts)
Although it may seem like the parties aren’t in agreement on anything, many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that there truly are only a few contested issues between them.
How Reaching a Settlement Can Save You Money
Even after filing for divorce, the court of most Maryland counties will order the parties to attend mediation and settlement conferences to allow them the opportunity to reach a settlement or co-parenting agreement. Going to mediation, sending proposals, and negotiating before filing saves court costs, litigation expenses, and attorney fees. Paying an attorney to draft and negotiate an agreement is much more cost effective than going through litigation and trial.
Entering into a co-parenting agreement gives you the flexibility to decide what works best for you both in a new living situation. This is better than having a judge, who is presented with only a small snippet of information on who the parties are, first acquaint himself with you both on the day of the trial.
How Reaching a Settlement Can Help with Co-Parenting
If you have children together, you will have have to learn to co-parent for the rest of the children’s lives. As the children grow, their needs will be constantly changing and reaching a co-parenting agreement allows for the flexibility to help address the children’s needs without having to go to court every time one of the child’s activities has an impact on the visitation schedule and it needs to be adjusted. In the long run, you will save yourself time, costs, and maybe even a little of your sanity, with a co-parenting agreement.
For Legal Assistance with a Co-Parenting Agreement in Maryland, Contact Us
Reaching an agreement is not easy because many people let their emotions take hold. It is important to look at the bigger picture and what is best for yourself and your children. I always recommend trying to visualize what your new life is going to look like. Where do you see yourself living? If you have kids, what does the visitation schedule looking like? If you work towards the goal of living in the future rather than the past, you may find yourself in a positive situation sooner than you ever thought possible.
If you would like to learn more about how drafting a settlement agreement can make for a more low cost divorce and help with co-parenting in the future, contact us. To discuss your options and draft a co-parenting agreement in Maryland, give me a call directly at 301-563-6685.