Step Six – Ink an Agreement
If you are making progress in your dialogue, you should try to get a written agreement in place. If quality attorneys who have both accepted the pledge are involved, then they can work together to reduce the agreement to a binding settlement agreement.
This can be a complete divorce settlement or it can be a partial. And it doesn’t have to be an agreement to end the marriage. For example, you and your spouse can agree on a trial separation and divorce terms should the separation become permanent. A post nuptial agreement can be used for this. Also, you and your spouse can agree to commit to a thorough negotiation process before any lawsuit is filed.
If you and your spouse are agreed on the financial terms, but are at an impasse on custody, but don't want to squander resources on an expensive contested divorce (which can amount to one or two college educations), via a formal pre-fling agreement or amendment to this, you could have a neutral custody evaluator make a "pre-filing" evaluation and possibly render a recommendation (either formal or informal) to hopefully break any negotiating impasse regarding what is best for the children. This can all be addressed by formal agreement.
Additionally, if an agreement for an uncontested divorce simply cannot be reached, you and your spouse can consider arbitration, which can bring a more dignified and expeditious conclusion and save costs. If, for example, you and you spouse cannot agree on property division, you can have this matter decided by a matrimonial arbitrator per the Georgia Arbitration Code. Actually, if both parties agree, arbitration can be used to resolve all issues, including custody. Practical spouses, with the consultation of their attorneys, can agree to designate a respected, experienced matrimonial arbitrator to hear the dispute and render a binding decision. This can save tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and keep the dispute confidential and dignified.