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Informal negotiations may make divorce less painful

The thought of going through divorce is no doubt tough both emotionally and financially. This is especially true if your divorce involves high-value assets. However, you do not necessarily have to go to traditional divorce trial to resolve issues such as property division.

Informal negotiations can be an effective way of tackling divorce issues such as property distribution and alimony. Here is a look at what divorce negotiations involve in California.  

What happens during informal negotiations?

Many divorce cases in California and elsewhere end up reaching settlement before ever going to trial thanks to the process of informal negotiations. During negotiation, you and your future ex-spouse can both discuss your individual wishes regarding what happens to your assets and even how you will handle matters such as child custody and child support. Once you come to an agreement on how to handle these matters, you can finalize your decisions in a written settlement agreement.

The court's approval of your settlement agreement

After you have put together a settlement agreement, you will have to present it to your divorce judge for approval. Prior to approving the agreement, the judge may ask you and your future ex during an informal hearing if you truly understand the terms of your agreement. The judge will also want to make sure that you both signed the agreement of your own volition. If your answers please the judge, then he or she will accept your agreement.

Sometimes, a partial settlement is necessary

In some situations, a couple might reach a settlement on multiple divorce issues but not on a couple of other issues. If you and your future ex find yourselves in this situation, you can reach a partial settlement. Then, you can submit to the divorce court the issues that remain unresolved.

For instance, perhaps you were able to come up with an agreement on child custody, child support and visitation but cannot find common ground on how to handle a high-value piece of art. The court can approve your partial settlement agreement and then require that a trial resolve your asset division issue. Whether you end up going through informal negotiations or going to trial, you have the right to pursue the most personally beneficial outcome given the circumstances surrounding your divorce.

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