In California, the family court judge issues a judgment resolving all issues of the marriage. However, when the spouses are able to agree on one or more issues, the court will almost always adopt their agreement as part of its judgment. There are only a few sets of circumstances when the court will not give the agreement favored treatment including if it is induced by fraud, includes matters falling outside of the court’s jurisdiction, or otherwise goes against the law.
A marital settlement agreement can include:
- Property division
- Adjustments to reimbursement claims and income tax issues
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal support
Generally, the spouses will first negotiate the agreement. Depending on how contentious the marriage is, they may do this on their own, with their lawyers, or through voluntary or court-ordered mediation. Next, one of the attorneys will draft a written agreement based on these negotiations. The other attorney will review the agreement, suggest changes, and the process repeats until both sides are satisfied.
While it is possible to have one lawyer draft the marital settlement agreement, this is not recommended. The agreement resolves competing rights and interests, so it is usually best to have your own attorney who is tasked solely with looking out for your own interests review your agreement.
If you are near Dublin, Alameda County, California, and are looking for an experienced lawyer to help with your marital settlement agreement, contact Seo Family Law today.