It can be difficult to keep all of the paperwork and terminology straight while in the middle of a divorce. Lee Rosen discusses the documents you will have when the process is over.
What documents will I have when this is over Transcript
Hi, I’m Lee Rosen of the Rosen Law Firm. Here’s a big question that everybody asks me, “What documents am I going to have when this thing is all over?”
It’s an important question because knowing where you’re headed will help you get there more directly. The reality of these cases is that where you are headed is toward a document. It doesn’t always feel like all the emotions of an end of a marriage can end up with a piece of paper, but that is what’s going to happen. The sooner you understand that we’re working toward a piece of paper, the easier this process will be.
When all is said and done, you’re going to have one of two documents. You’ll either have separation agreement, or you’ll have a court order. It is important to understand the difference between the two.
Let’s talk about the first one, the separation agreement, and then we’ll talk about court orders. A separation agreement is a contract between a husband and a wife. It’s in writing. It’s signed. It’s notarized. That contract lays out the agreement between the husband and the wife on child custody, child support, alimony, property distribution. It includes all of the issues – everything.
It’s unfortunate that we call it a separation agreement. It really ought to be called a divorce agreement or the end of a marriage agreement, something that doesn’t use the term ‘separation’ because lot of people have the misconception that a separation agreement is temporary, that it has something to do only with the time of being separated, that it’s not a permanent arrangement. That is a misconception.
A separation agreement is permanent. It’s a lasting permanent contract. It does not go away. It does not get changed by a judge later. It is a final resolution. So when you sign one of these documents, one of these separation agreements, you need to be 100 percent sure that it says what you think it says.
You ought to run it by a lawyer. You want to make sure that it is what you really think it is because once you’ve signed it, you’re stuck with it. It’s not temporary. It’s permanent. That’s document number one, the separation agreement. Now the nine out of ten people that never end up in court, most people are going to have separation agreement.
The other document and that other group, the one out of ten, the ones that do go to court, they’re going to end up with a document called a ‘court order.’ A court order is simply the decision of a judge written down after the trial and signed by the judge.
It is the judge’s impartial decision about what ought to happen, whether it’s about child custody, or child support, or alimony, or property distribution. It’s simply the decision of a judge after the trial.
You are going to be hearing about the differences in the legal impact of separation agreements and court orders as you learn about child custody and child support, and alimony, and property distribution. It’s really important for you to remember and to be familiar with these two types of documents, the separation agreement and the court order.
I’m Lee Rosen for the Rosen Law Firm.