While there are certainly horror stories associated with the divorce process, it doesn't always have to be that way. In fact, you and your former partner may have agreed to go your own ways quite amicably and are now making arrangements to do just that. Yet that doesn't mean that you can treat this as informally as possible, even though that may be less painful. It does mean that you should formalise the financial side of things, as a lack of attention here could come back to bite if you're not careful. What should you do instead?

Assessing the Significant Risk

As time goes by, attitudes can change, and circumstances can also have a bearing on how people behave.

Imagine a situation where you do not make any formal agreement right now. However, your "ex" comes back to you many years hence with an application for a formal property settlement. You may have had a larger share of the property pool back then, and it may have increased in size going forward. A court may award a significant settlement to your former partner, which may significantly deplete the money or assets you have now.

Predicting the Future

Again, you cannot accept that current-day attitudes will never change and that you can go forward based on a handshake. You must think about formalising arrangements, so you do not become party to a horror story of your own.

How to Go Forward

There are essentially two ways to proceed.

Consent and Court Orders

You can draft consent orders between you and file these with a family court registrar. As long as the court considers these fair and reasonable, they will convert the consent orders into binding court orders.

Financial Agreement

Alternatively, you should think about entering into a financial agreement with your former partner. This is basically a contract and specifically prevents either party from going to a family court in the future. Therefore, a court cannot override the terms of the financial agreement so long as the contract is well put together.

Doing It the Right Way

Still, it is certainly important not to make any mistakes at this stage. If you want to draw up a financial agreement, get in touch with a divorce lawyer at the earliest opportunity. They'll help you to draft the paperwork, ensure it is legally binding and keep a copy at hand for the future.

Reach out to a firm like Peter J Griffin & Co to learn more.