Experienced Mediators Facilitate Marital Settlement Agreements in New York
Stipulation of settlement saves you time, stress and expense
If you and your spouse have a good idea of what you want from your divorce and you can cooperate in a reasonable manner, mediation may be the best method of reaching a marital settlement agreement (MSA). At Solutions Divorce Mediation, our trained mediators guide you through a nonconfrontational process for resolving your divorce issues. We even draft the final document for you, which you can present to the judge for approval. Through mediation, we can help you avoid costly and time-consuming court appearances and help you settle your divorce on your terms.
Your MSA is the key to an uncontested, no-fault divorce
In New York, you can file for a no-fault divorce, which means you are not alleging marital misconduct as the reason for divorce, but simply believe that your relationship is irretrievably broken. However, you must still pass a huge hurdle if you want to obtain an uncontested divorce in which you and your spouse agree how to resolve every related issue: property division, child custody, child support and alimony. Mediation is the nonconfrontational process that helps you resolve those issues, resulting in a marital settlement agreement. Your MSA is your statement to the court explaining what you want your final divorce decree to order. A well-drafted MSA takes the case out of the judge’s hands and allows you and your spouse to stipulate the terms of your marital dissolution.
Can the court overrule an MSA?
The judge in your case reviews your marital settlement agreement to determine if it is basically fair and not the product of fraud or coercion. Of course, the mediation process is designed to produce such an agreement. In mediation, each party is free to express concerns about issues, and the mediator guides the parties past conflicts to a reasonable compromise. It is very rare for a judge to overrule a mediated settlement, especially when you work with a skilled mediator who understands New York family law.
How long does the MSA stay in effect?
Once the court approves your marital settlement agreement, the judge will issue a final divorce decree incorporating your terms into the court order. That court order has the force of law and binds both parties until the court issues a new order amending the first. This should satisfy both parties, at least at the outset, because these are the terms you requested. However, it is not unusual for parties to request a modification of a court order every three years or so, especially if they have growing children whose needs change with time. You might have to request a modification sooner if you experience a substantial change in your circumstances that makes following the current order a hardship. The only aspect of your settlement that is not subject to modification is the division of your property. That is final unless you discover fraud at the time you mediated your MSA.
Contact our Long Island divorce mediators for a free initial consultation
A mediated settlement can be the key to obtaining an uncontested divorce on Long Island. Call Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. at 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available, 7 days/week.