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Is your divorce settlement comprehensive enough?

When couples divorce, they have the option of heading to court and letting a judge rule on the many facets that play into the process. This is usually in lieu of these decisions being made by the couples themselves and though it may be caused by an inability to agree, it could be a mistake to put such decisions into the hands of someone who does not personally know your relationship, especially when children are involved. The property division process could be dramatically affected, as could custody and any support being issued. This is why many divorcing couples in New Orleans elect to draft their own terms of agreement. But there is also a problem with this route: Sometimes, the settlements are not comprehensive enough.

Say a couple decides that one spouse will get the house and, in return, this spouse will pay for their daughter's college education when it comes time. If the settlement is this vague and the child is still young, the cost of that college expense is very unclear. Will she be attending an in-state college? What sort of institution will she be attending? If it's a private university, it will likely be more expensive than a public one. And if she decides to head to a school outside of Louisiana, the costs will most certainly rise. This is why detailed provisions should be included in the agreement, particularly when addressing items with unknowable factors such as college tuition for the children.

Details are very important when drafting a divorce settlement -- especially with regard to the division of assets -- and many qualified attorneys understand this. With this in mind, you should be able to understand why a lawyer can be an invaluable tool in the divorce process. Those without the assistance of a legal expert may find themselves hurting, both in the present and in the future.

Source:  The National Law Review, "Settlement Agreements - The Devil is in the Lack of Details - Part I." Darlene S. Lesser, Aug. 11, 2013

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