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The divorce settlement agreement is a very important and crucial document to regulate and settle the marital discord between the couples drafted to end their relationships with clarity on all issues.
Divorce settlement agreement
The divorce settlement agreement is to be drafted at the behest of both the partners who intend to end their marriage on the basis of mutual settlement.
The divorce settlement agreement should contain all the possible points of settlement on various issued between both the spouse so that their process of parting off is completed smoothly and the remaining issues are determined very clearly for the smooth running of their respective lives after the enforcement of the Divorce settlement agreement.
It is always better to avail of the services of an expert divorce lawyer for drafting a divorce settlement agreement.
A divorce settlement agreement is often prepared before the parties proceed for mutual divorce by consent and sit across the table to sort out all the issues of disputes between them and part with or live together under the said settlement.
It is always better to avail the services of an expert divorce lawyer who can discuss all the points and sort out the same. The role of an expert divorce lawyer is to discuss all the points in detail and to foresee the same for the future and to ascertain the role of the said points between the partners and reduce it in writing in the divorce settlement agreement.
Important heads in a divorce settlement agreement
It is always better to discuss all the points of dispute between the parties to a mutual divorce and clarify them pointwise under various possible heads so as to rule out any dispute in the future on the issues.
The following important heads should be included in the Divorce settlement agreement broadly depending upon the facts of the case which both the parties may mutually agree:
1. All terms and conditions of mutual divorce between the parties:
All the issues of disputes need to be mentioned specifically in the Divorce Settlement Agreement and clarification w.r.t. those issues are given by both the parties in the divorce settlement agreement to finally extinguish all the points of dispute and related issues.
2. Child custody and visitation right:
If there are children born out of the wedlock of the couples, the divorce settlement agreement should specifically deal with the issue of their custody, their maintenance and all related issues.
Although the law stipulates that the welfare of the child is of most importance hence any arrangement made in the divorce settlement agreement should specifically deal with the issue of custody of the child keeping in view the mandate of law and the wishes of the parents.
3. Child support after divorce:
Besides the custody of the child, other issues which are of most importance is the support of the children after divorce. All expenses of rearing the children should be specifically mentioned alongwith the responsibility of the parents.
It should be specifically mentioned in the divorce settlement agreement that who will bear which cost and when. The issues regarding school fees, flooding, clothing, traveling, medical etc needs to be specifically mentioned in the divorce settlement agreement so as to rule out any dispute on the issue of the children.
4. Division and retention of properties/estate:
The most important aspect of any divorce settlement agreement is settling the issues of the division of retention of properties of the partners. The tasks become more complicated if the property of the married couple is in a joint name and under bank loan.
Such a situation specifically needs a clear arrangement of paying off the EMI and transfer of the title after completion of the same.
5. Splitting of assets and other household and all other valuables:
The parting partners on the basis of mutual divorce mostly try to sort out the various issues including the assets created by them during their matrimonial life and the distribution of the same mutually between them so that no dispute on the same ever erupts or remain.
One has to avail the services of an expert divorce lawyer for the same and to reduce all aspects in detail so as to rule out any future dispute between the parties.
6. Streedhan :
Streedhan has been specifically defined under the Indian laws and it determines that the assets of the female gifted by both sides during her marriage or during her marital life are the streedhan which solely belongs to the female and the same can not be bifurcated.
It is, therefore, most essential to determine the Streedhan and make a list or make mention of the same in the mutual divorce settlement.
7. Permanent Alimony:
This is another important aspect of matrimonial life as the earning partner mostly the husband has to make the payment of the permanent alimony to the wife which may be according to the financial status, financial capacity and customs of the parties.
A specific mention of the same needs to be mentioned in the mutual divorce settlement agreement by the parties as it regulates the entire life of both the partners and rules out any dispute in the future.
8. Clearance or repayment of debt :
The issue of clearance as well as repayment of the debt by the parting couples is a major issue now with the advancement of the society as women also own assets from their earning.
In the divorce settlement agreement, the aspect of the liability of the repayment of debt is a crucial issue and it needs to be specified in very clear terms as to who will repay the debts which is mostly by way of bank loan against some property or educational loans.
It should be clearly spelled in the divorce settlement agreement that who owns the property and who has undertaken to repay the loan or the debt and who will remain the owner of the property even after the divorce.
The services of expert divorce lawyers for the said work can be availed to rule out any controversy in the future.
9. Insurance and passport/visa subjects:
The issue of insurance and its benefits with the liability of payment of the premium on insurance is another important aspect of the divorce settlement agreement which needs to be specified in the divorce settlement.
A clear mention of all the points in this regard needs to be mentioned for a better and clear parting of the partners.
It is always advisable to avail of the services of an expert divorce lawyer for the drafting of the divorce settlement agreement who can visualize all the eventualities through his wisdom and experience.
India laws related to a mutual divorce
- Section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which is applicable on Hindus, Jains, Sikhs mandates a period of separation of 1 year,
- Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 ( applicable to all marriages between parties belonging to different religions, castes, NRI’s etc) mandates a period of separation of more than one year,
- Section 10 A of the Indian Divorce Act for Christian Couples mandates a period of separation of two years.
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