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The importance of understanding divorce settlement agreements

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2016 | Divorce

When Arizona couples have ended their marriages with divorce settlement agreements in place, they may think that the process is over and that they will be able to move on with their lives. In some cases, however, a person may have a connection to his or her spouse which requires ongoing contact. This might include a piece of real estate or a business that both own or children that they both share.

Disputes sometimes arise between former spouses who have ongoing contact following their divorces. One may decide to do something to help out the other even though doing so was not called for in the divorce settlement agreement. Sometimes, the other one will then decide that the terms of the agreement have been changed. However, the agreement that is accepted by the court will prevail.

It is important for people to understand exactly what is contained in their agreements before signing them. They should ask questions about the terms so that they have a solid understanding of what the expectations are for both parties. If a dispute does arise, a person can then simply say that the settlement agreement prevails and refuse to argue.

A person whose ex-spouse fails to perform something that was agreed to in the settlement agreement may file a motion for contempt or a motion to compel with the court that has jurisdiction over the case. The court may then take additional steps to compel the non-performing ex-spouse to do whatever task that has not been completed. There are other times when the settlement agreement no longer performs as intended as well, such as in the areas of child custody, child support and spousal support. In those cases, the person may file motions to modify with the court in order to try to get the needed changes put into place. People who are having issues after their divorces may want to consult with family law attorneys about how to address them.