Reaching A Divorce Settlement Agreement Out Of Court
Everything in our modern society is about doing things as quickly and efficiently as possible and this is no different when entering into a divorce. While many people believe that mediation to reach a settlement agreement is a waste of time, this is in fact one of the fastest ways to terminate a marriage. On the other hand, reaching an agreement can be difficult due to the high emotions that are present in most divorce situations. There are two ways in which you can take the emotion out of the equation to make the process quicker and that is through the use of mediation or arbitration. While mediation is often used to negotiate the terms of a settlement agreement, arbitration is a less likely approach but can also assist in a quick and efficient divorce out of court.
Mediation refers to using the services of a divorce lawyer, attorney or other expert in divorce law to negotiate the terms for the settlement. Each party in the divorce process will employ the services of their own legal representation in mediation. This legal representation will follow their client’s wishes but will give them the best advice on when to stand firm, compromise or simply relinquish a sticking point in reaching the goal of settlement. In arbitration on the other hand, the parties in the divorce have no say in how the agreement for settlement is reached, which is why it is often the least popular means of reaching a divorce settlement agreement. An arbitrator with a good knowledge of divorce law in South Africa will be chosen to assess the case and determine a settlement which he or she determines to be fair. Each party in the divorce needs to sign a contract that they will accept the decision of the arbitrator. A decision by an arbitrator is legally binding and once accepted there is no recourse for renegotiating the settlement through the legal system. This is another reason it is best to opt for mediation in a divorce settlement agreement rather than arbitration. Both of these means of reaching a settlement agreement out of court have the added benefit of saving money. Not only will you not have to pay extra court costs for the magistrate or judge to reach a decision regarding the settlement but you will pay less in attorney and lawyer fees and expenses. Remember to ensure that your divorce attorneys and lawyers draw up all the terms and conditions for the settlement so that you receive a fair settlement and that all future transactions related to the divorce are covered by the agreement.
Above all, it is most important to keep in mind that the ease and speed with which a divorce settlement agreement is reached is up to you and your spouse. Be open-minded and follow the advice of your legal representation in all matters. The faster a settlement is reached, the sooner a divorce order can be granted and you can move on with your life.