This edition, in addition to bedrock family law principles, includes statutory and case law updates regarding jurisdiction, alimony, equitable division, business valuation, contempt, attorney fees, visitation, custody and de facto marriage concerns. It also includes updated, revised and new forms.
Parties in a lawsuit have a lot of latitude to agree to settlement terms. This is certainly true in divorce. Virtually everything is negotiable and if an agreement can be reached, usually it will be approved by the Court.
However, to be an enforceable agreement it must be approved by the Court. Until such time as your agreement is reduced to writing, signed and approved by the Court, it is on iffy ground as to enforceability issues. While some issues may be contracted without Court approval in a family law case, such as property division and alimony, some issues can not be enforced absent Court approval, such as child custody related terms.
Likewise, “changing” your Court papers without Court approval is dicey. Swapping out a holiday here or a week there is not usually a big deal, but changing payment terms, amounts, or duration can lead to serious consequences if done without Court approval. Child support vests as it comes due and absent exigent circumstances cannot be forgiven.
An agreement to agree is no agreement at all.
Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Attorney and reminds you to have your Agreement approved by the Court in an Order.
Today’s post is about “math.” It’s not really, but it is about an option that may be available in your divorce case.
Bifurcating your case is dividing the divorce case from the custody/property/financial aspects of your case. It is not often done, but can be a useful tool when a party does not have grounds and the other party does not want the divorce, or when a party does have grounds and the other issues (custody/property/financial ) will take a considerable amount of time to be decided.
The basic process is requesting the Court to divide the case via motion, first making a determination if grounds exist and thereafter deciding the remaining issues if the Court awards a divorce.
While not right in every case, it can be a significant option in protracted litigation or could preempt unnecessary litigation.
Matthew Thompson is a Divorce & Child Custody attorney in Mississippi and reminds you that bifurcation may can add to your case by subtracting issues before the Court.