What is a Stipulation of Settlement?
It is a legal document, often quite long, that settles all the terms of your divorce. The day you sign it that is the contract that you have both signed, with notarized signatures. That’s the deal. There is no going back about something, unless the Stipulation of Settlement allows it. (Child support has some exceptions to this).
In divorce mediation, the Stipulation of Settlement is developed based on the agreements reached by the Spouses during the divorce mediation sessions. The Stipulation of Settlement, when completed, is submitted to the Judge along with the legal divorce papers.
Stipulation of Settlement is Legal Contract, Included in Judgment of Divorce
When the Judge finally signs the Judgment of Divorce, the Judgment will say that the entire Stipulation is just as if it were actually typed out in the Judgment of Divorce, and so it is part of the Judgment.
What topics does the Stipulation of Settlement cover?
- Child Custody and Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Distribution between the two of you of the value of any and all marital assets (separate assets are usually identified and then ignored.) That includes pensions, 401(k)s and 403 (b)s, IRAs, bank accounts, and all other financial accounts, including assets and liabilities.
- The House is often a major issue and so the Stipulation of Settlement contains a complete plan for the occupancy of the house and the distribution of any value in it.
- Other assets, such as cars, boats, other real estate, are all identified and covered.
Child Support and the Stipulation of Settlement
Child support is fully covered in the Stipulation of Settlement. We show how it is calculated in great detail. If you decide to not follow the Child Support Standards Act formula we explain what the basis is for that decision. We deal with children’s issues such as camp, college, and a host of similar issues. A major topic is health insurance for the children. Who provides it? Who pay for it? What about uncovered medical expenses and co-pays.
The Stipulation of Settlement covers spousal maintenance. Even where there is no spousal maintenance we need to explain clearly that there is none.
Stipulation of Settlement and Divorce Mediation
In Divorce Mediation, the couple can change any guidelines set down by the courts, such as spousal support, pension distribution and even child support. The only caveat – both Spouses need to agree. For example, recently one couple divided up the husband’s pension 70/30, rather than the standard 50/50, because the wife had far more assets than the husband.
Review the other services offered at the Long Island Center for Divorce Mediation,