Property Settlement And Separation Agreements

At the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur, our philosophy is that, if possible, it is usually in the best interest of our clients to reach agreement on property, debt, custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support (often referred to as alimony). In order to do so, we will often discuss options that will work for the client but which a judge might not have the power to do at trial. In reaching agreements, we may meet with the client, their spouse and their spouse's attorney to hammer out the issues in person. Often this may bring faster resolution than passing proposals back and forth between attorneys. We also utilize mediation to reach settlements.

Often, a client has already reached a verbal agreement with their spouse. If so, we will review the terms to be sure our client is fully protected, discuss any issues they may have not considered, and work with our client so that they may have an amicable relationship with their spouse. This is even more important if the parties have children. Parents who are able to work together and resolve issues assist their children in coming to terms with the parent's separation.

Once the parties have agreed on the terms of settlement, whether by negotiation, mediation, or discussions with their spouse, it is extremely important that the agreement be properly, legally, and clearly drafted so as to avoid post-divorce litigation on ambiguities or misunderstandings, if possible.

If the client has no minor children and has a fully signed agreement, they can file an uncontested divorce after six months of separation. Without an agreement, the term of separation is one year.

Realistically, if no agreement is reached, by attempting to reach an agreement, we learn the goals and priorities of both the client and their spouse, which is a factor we consider when preparing for litigating the unresolved issues. Unfortunately, litigation is absolutely necessary in some situations. Preparation and knowledge is key in those cases as we present our client's case in court. Therefore, listening is an important aspect of what we do at the Law Office of Deborah N. Arthur. Call 703-278-2028 or contact us online today. From our office in Annandale, we help people throughout Northern Virginia.