Have you have filed for divorce in Sacramento and now the process seems to have come to a standstill? This commonly occurs when the divorcing spouses cannot agree on a division of community property assets and debt. Perhaps the dissolving couple cannot agree on whether certain assets are community or separate property. One party to the dissolution of marriage may be asking the other spouse to reimburse the community for the contribution of separate property funds or community funds that were used for a party’s benefit. In some circumstances, the community should be entitled to reimbursement. An example, student loan payments for the benefit of one spouse made with community property funds when there was no substantial benefit to the community.
Regardless of the disagreement, you may not be able to come to an agreement with your spouse. This poses an interesting dilemma for many divorce litigants. When you cannot form an agreement, you may be forced to take the matter before a judge at the Sacramento Family Court. If you are represented by a Sacramento divorce lawyer, a trial on the division of assets and debt could be very costly depending on the assets and debts in dispute. If the cost of a trial would be greater than settling for less than what you may be entitled to, it may be seriously worth the consideration of both spouses.
Here are a few tips for negotiating a marital settlement agreement in California:
- Know Your Rights. Know what you are entitled to receive from your spouse or what you may owe them. Some situations provide that a spouse is entitled to reimbursement plus interest. In some cases, the other party may be entitled to attorney fees from you or you may be entitled to attorney fees. Having a Sacramento divorce lawyer represent you is critical to ensuring that you fully understand your rights under the California Family Code when negotiating a marital settlement agreement.
- Keep an Open Mind. Some people go into mediation with the mentality that they are not willing to compromise. They basically go into negotiations with an all or nothing approach. This could be damaging to the potential for an agreement. A mutually beneficial agreement can save time and money. If the cost of a divorce trial is $15,000 and the spouses are in a disagreement over $25,000, they may want to consider whether compromising would provide a better outcome.
- Mediation Might Be Appropriate. Generally, mediation for the purposes of negotiating a marital settlement agreement is not cheap. It may be appropriate though. Mediators are trained to act as neutral third parties. They are often successful at facilitating an agreement between two parties where the parties would have not otherwise been able to come to an agreement.
In any case, where you have a legitimate claim, you should contact a Sacramento attorney that is knowledgeable in the area of law in which you need representation. An agreement is not always possible. You should never agree to terms that you feel are unfair.
The Law Office of Justin Anton McCrea provides legal representation in family law matters. Common issues in family law include legal separation, divorce, spousal support, child custody, child support, and domestic violence restraining orders. Contact us today for more information or assistance with negotiating a marital settlement agreement in Sacramento.