Suppose a married couple, John and Suzy, reached an agreement in 2015 in which John agreed to pay Suzy $2,000 a month in sped assistance, subject to a change. In 2016, John was in a car accident that left him paralyzed and unable to work. Suzy then sclaims for divorce in 2017 and asks that the agreement be included in a final divorce order. In this situation, it may be unfair to include the sped assistance provision in a court order. While the choice of language may seem insignificant or even superfluous, the wording you have chosen can have a great influence when it comes to applying the agreement if your ex does not do what she is supposed to do under the agreement. Ariel Baniowski is a family lawyer in the Leesburg office of Livesay and Myers. She is an aggressive lawyer for those in separation, divorce or custody proceedings in Northern Virginia. Ms. Baniowski combines a tireless work ethic, with a long experience in family law and a passion for helping people in difficult situations.
The surviving provisions are those that “survive” the divorce judgment, i.e. they continue to exist in the form of an independent contract between the parties; The distribution of the property of the matrimonial estate is the most common example of a surviving destination, although other elements of the agreement may just as well survive as long as the parties agree. Violations of a surviving provision can be enforced through a contempt complaint, filed with the estate and family court, or civil proceedings for breach. On the other hand, the merged provisions of a separation agreement do not retain an independent legal value beyond the divorce judgment and are treated only as a court decision. This means that when a party violates a merged provision of a separation agreement, the other party`s only recourse is to file a complaint for contempt of the estate and the family court. Children`s provisions, such as custody and custody of children, are still merged. The decision to merge or survive certain provisions of the separation agreement is an essential part of the negotiation process and not a decision to be made before the judge. Parties who enter into a separation agreement without understanding the importance and significance of “merger” and “survival” may find themselves in difficult situations in the future when faced with changing circumstances. Seek advice from an experienced lawyer on all the terms of your divorce contract, even on the boiler platform. During the court proceedings, you and your spouse may reach an out-of-court settlement at any time before the judge or gentleman decides on your case. However, by submitting to the court, you are required to meet the court`s deadlines, even if you do not intend to see your case before the courts. If you have the opportunity to discuss how to manage your separation and divorce, including alternative dispute resolution, please contact us about our family law services and agree on advice.
By adding a separation agreement to a final divorce order, the agreement is in fact part of the court order. That is, it can now be applied with the contempt powers of the court. If you have questions about the incorporation and merging of your separation contract into a divorce decree, please contact an experienced family law lawyer in your jurisdiction.