Settlement Agreements are specifically provided for and encouraged under Virginia Law. They are known by a variety of names, all of which mean the same things. They may be called a:
- Property Settlement Agreement
- Marital Separation Agreement
- Separation Agreements
- Stipulation Agreement
The Settlement Agreement may arise from direct negotiations between the spouses, mediation or negotiation through attorneys.
The Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract from the time that it is signed. It will be incorporated into the Final Decree of Divorce and can be enforced as a court order thereafter.
The Settlement Agreement can contain whatever terms are agreed to by the parties. It can be as simple or as complex as needed to address the circumstances of a particular case. Typical provisions include:
- Child Custody
- Visitation (Parenting Time)
- Child Support
- Health Insurance and uncovered medical expenses
- Life Insurance
- Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Division of Retirements and Survivor Benefit coverage
- Division of real estate
- Division of personal property
- Division of marital debt
- Payments of attorney’s fees and costs
Written Settlement Agreements are strongly recommended in order to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. They also establish the procedure to be followed while the parties are separated but not divorced. Remember, however, that if you sign a Settlement Agreement, you are bound by its terms and except in limited circumstances, you cannot ask a court to release you from the terms. Child support and child custody always are subject to modification by the court when there is a material change of circumstances.
Do you need a Settlement Agreement drafted? Call our office today and schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys! (757) 533-5400