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Family Law

Divorce Settlement Agreements

Divorce can be one of the most stressful things a person endures. The effects of a divorce can target every aspect of one's life. The uncertainty involved can unleash emotional and financial distress. Though some couples are unable to avoid contentious litigation, others will through the use of divorce settlement agreements. Divorce settlement agreements are an excellent alternative to litigation. Acquiring an attorney who is well versed in the issues surrounding divorce and skilled in negotiation will go far in helping you overcome the obstacles while devising creative solutions custom-tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Divorce Settlement Agreements can ultimately save you the stress and expense involved in fighting, which often leads to battles in court. 

What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement?

A divorce settlement agreement is a legally enforceable, written contract entered into by spouses that resolves issues related to the marriage. Depending on the issues resolved, these agreements are often referred to as “separation agreements” or “marital settlement agreements” (MSA). These agreements can address key issues of division of assets and debts, child custody, child support, spousal support, and alimony.  These agreements are unique to each family and address the matters most important to the needs of the parties involved. Spouses can elect to enter into simple agreements that only establish a date of separation, or complex agreements dealing with all issues. 

Why an Agreement? 

No two divorces are alike. What you require in a divorce will most likely not meet the needs of another. Sadly, the courts are ill-equipped to offer unique resolutions for each and every family. They must operate on a set of standards that apply to all citizens alike. Through engagement in negotiation and mediation, you are provided the opportunity to craft an agreement tailored to your particular situation and goals, while avoiding the greuling nature of the court system. Without an agreement you will be at the mercy of a Judge to decide for you. This loss of control often leaves both sides disappointed in the outcome. By taking a ‘hands on approach” towards problem-solving and agreement, you can give voice to the outcome of your case. This is the benchmark and foundation of lasting resolutions.  

In addition, by entering into an agreement you can avoid having to wait your turn for a court date to only spend countless hours in trial, putting the private details of your marriage on public display.  

By crafting a beneficial resolution both you and your spouse will save time and money, avoid the cost and time penalties of a court resolution that records private details of your marriage in a very public forum and in public records. Settlement and agreement allow you to move forward with your life and focus on important things without the emotional and financial stress that comes with the trial alternative.

Do I need an attorney for a Divorce Settlement Agreement?

A well crafted divorce settlement agreement will be a critical document you will rely upon in your future pursuits. Ensuring your agreement is drafted correctly, is inclusive, and protects your interests is imperative.  While the court doesn’t have to approve your agreement, having one that is enforceable is essential. If you are presented with an agreement prepared by your spouse or their attorney, have your own attorney review it before signing it. An attorney can ensure that you understand the long lasting implications that come with an agreement of any kind. 

At Hopper Cummings we understand the tedious process of divorce.  We recognize the key issues to be included in a settlement agreement ensuring no matters are left unaddressed. Our family law attorneys are well versed in each aspect of the divorce process. We can ensure that everything is taken into consideration to protect your interests, including issues that you may not consider. If you need an attorney to assist you in the preparation and negotiation of an agreement, or review an agreement you received, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Hopper Cummings are dedicated to helping you craft a long lasting agreement that protects your interests. Call us today at 919-533-4115, or complete our online form for a confidential consultation. 


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This article and all of the content on this website are intended for information purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice or substituted for consultation with an experienced attorney. We strive to ensure the content on our site is current, informative, and based on North Carolina law and practice procedure in effect at the time of its writing and publication. Call our office to schedule a consultation at 919-533-4115, email us at, or complete a contact form on any page of this site for specific and accurate information about your unique matter.

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