Parties in a divorce litigation may settle their case through a divorce settlement in Georgia. The agreement may be a full agreement on every pending issue, which would turn the divorce case into uncontested divorce. Or the agreement may be partial, leaving other pending issues for a trial.
What is a settlement offer in a divorce in Ga?
A settlement offer in a divorce case is a proposal by one party to the other party to resolve an issue or issues pending in the divorce case. The issue may be about child custody or equitable division of property. Or it may be about alimony. Or it may be about any other contestable issue in a divorce action. The party making the offer may set the terms of the offer. The offer may be in writing or oral. The offer may be made so that it expires after a certain period of time.
What is a marital or divorce settlement agreement in Georgia?
A marital settlement agreement or divorce settlement agreement in a divorce in Georgia means an agreement or contract that resolves some or all pending issues in a divorce matter. An agreement is created when the other party accepts the offer. If the marital settlement agreement or divorce settlement agreement resolves all pending issues in the divorce case, the divorce case will then proceed as an uncontested divorce case. If only some issues are resolved through an agreement, the remaining, unresolved issues may be resolved through a trial.
A marital settlement agreement or divorce settlement agreement resolving all issues in a divorce case would be submitted in writing to the court for review and approval. The court has discretion to approve or reject the settlement agreement, in whole or in part. If the settlement agreement is approved, the settlement agreement would become a part of the final judgment and decree of divorce. In other words, the settlement agreement becomes the court’s final order.
Also, if child custody is an issue and a guardian ad litem is appointed to help the court with custody determination, the guardian ad litem has the right and opportunity to make objections to the court to any proposed settlement of issues relating to the children prior to the court approving the agreement.
What should a marital settlement agreement include in a divorce in Ga?
A divorce settlement agreement or marital settlement agreement in a divorce in Georgia may include any issues the parties have agreed to resolve. Thus, it may include the parties’ agreement regarding child custody, child support, alimony, equitable division of property, and other pending issues. The settlement agreement may refer to a parenting plan or child support worksheet by reference.
Importantly, the settlement agreement should accurately describe the settlement reached by the parties. Also, the parties should make sure that all of the essential terms have been agreed to. The failure to agree to even one essential term means there is no agreement to be enforced. Reichard v. Reichard, 262 Ga. 561 (1992).
Also, the parties should make sure that all of the terms of the settlement agreement are allowed under the relevant laws. For example, some self-executing change in custody (i.e., where the parties agree in advance that a change in custody will occur in the future), may be impermissible.
Can you back out of a marital settlement in a divorce in Georgia?
Generally, it may be difficult to back out of a valid divorce settlement agreement, unless the parties voluntarily agree. If the other party refuses to comply with a valid settlement agreement, a party may request that the court order the other party to comply with the settlement agreement.
If the divorce settlement agreement is defective, it may be possible to challenge the validity of the purported settlement agreement.
Is a divorce settlement agreement legally binding?
Yes, if the requirements are met, a divorce settlement agreement could be legally binding.
How do you enforce a marital settlement agreement?
Filing a motion to enforce settlement agreement is one way to enforce the settlement agreement. If the settlement agreement is made a part of the court’s order, you may file a motion for contempt to enforce the court’s order.
Consult with a divorce attorney Atlanta about your options.