Divorce is never a pleasurable experience. It’s the dissolution of a marriage and no one emerges unscathed. This is especially the case when you have money and assets at stake.
Breaking up one joined life into two separate ones is heart-wrenching. Unfortunately, there is little that the legal system can do to help with the emotional side of things.
But when it comes to the financial side, a divorce settlement agreement provides a solution that can help you to save thousands of dollars. And it’s not just about the money. If you and your ex can cooperate, you get to keep control. If you can’t, the court system will have to handle it.
The agreement also offers a more private experience, with none of the stress of an extended court visit.
Find out why a settlement agreement can benefit you.
Can you really put a price on the end of a marriage?
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos did so … in the most expensive divorce of all time.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos ended their 25-year marriage with one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history.
In the agreement, she agreed to grant him all her interests in Blue Origin and the Washington Post. She also granted Jeff 75% of the Amazon stock they owned together. 
Although MacKenzie gained an estimated $38 billion from the shares of Amazon she retained, she gave voting control to him.
And what about their four children?
The couple decided that a joint custody arrangement would work best for them.
You may think this high-profile divorce would provide media fodder for years to come. But the couple decided to cooperate and support each other instead.
Rather than creating a huge show for the media and spending millions of dollars on lawyers and court fees, they decided to go a different route. They talked it over and agreed to split their wealth – which means it wasn’t really that expensive at all.
The decision to separate from your spouse is never one that’s taken lightly. And emotional turmoil isn’t the worst of it…
Imagine bringing a private matter like a separation into court. All of a sudden, every detail of your marriage is on the public record. And that microscope brings every intimate detail into glaring focus.
When Johnny Depp and his then-wife Amber Heard ended their 15-month marriage, they found that out the hard way. Their legal battles have been making headlines since the initial filing in 2016. 
One case in Australia took a whopping 14 years to run its course.  During that time, the case involved:
It also accrued more than $40 million in legal fees.
This case was the longest and messiest divorce in Australian history. Yours probably won’t look anything like it. But without exception, court battles add more stress and uncertainty to an already emotional situation.
Settlements can help you avoid expensive legal fees and extended court hearings. If separation from your partner represents one of the worst periods of your life, wouldn’t you want to get it over with as soon as possible?
Reaching an agreement about property settlement can make that happen. From there, it’s simply a matter of legally documenting your arrangement in a Binding Financial Agreement.
Best of all, you don’t need to do any of it based on a magistrate’s timetable. Again, that means you retain control over the situation.
You and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can work together to benefit both of you. These benefits include…
When you apply for a property settlement in the court system, you give over control. You’re stuck on the court’s timetable and way of conducting proceedings.
And that’s not always in your best interest.
When you come to your own agreement, though, you can make your own choices about your assets.
Deciding who gets what is part of the settlement process. When you maintain control over this process, it’s easier to retain a cordial relationship with your partner.
But if you give up control, you need to abide by what the court decides. And that often results in both parties feeling bitter and resentful.
Divorce is an emotional time. You need a clear head to come to an agreement. You may have negative feelings swirling inside you, but approaching negotiations calmly may help you find a way to resolve conflict with your partner.
After all, you both want to start your new lives and put this behind you. Being in the mindset to talk about asset division can put you in a better place to start again.
Courts may not always rule in your favour. They may not find in your partner’s favour either.
You see, courts are not invested in ruling on behalf of your history or your memories. They won’t give either one of you concessions “for old time’s sake.” And they’re not in a position to rule in a way that makes you both happy.
But you have the power to achieve a better outcome. You just need to commit to working together to bring it about.
You will need to have solicitors involved in the agreement process.
But as we mentioned earlier, a divorce settlement agreement lends you a greater measure of control over the situation.
This means that you’re unlikely to get into a situation where combative solicitors end up drawing out the proceedings.
Remember that each day spent fighting your spouse in court drains dollars out of your asset pool. A divorce settlement agreement allows you to keep things amicable, which usually means the process costs much less.
When parents split up, it’s the children who suffer the most. Their entire world is turned upside-down.
The best thing you can do for your children is to be there for them. But you can’t do that if you’re embroiled in court battles. Show them that you love them enough to come to an agreement on your own.
Protracted legal battles are not only expensive. They’re messy and time-consuming. Each hearing you attend stops you from moving on.
Imagine having to attend a court hearing every few months to rehash details of your marriage for the court. It’s like reliving your worst nightmare over and over again.
Keep in mind, too, that you can’t just walk away if you have children. You’ll need to see your ex on a fairly regular basis to sort out their care.
So you have a choice…
You can make this a painful process.
Or you can make it as easy as you possibly can – on each other and on your children.
Divorce isn’t easy. But an agreement can make the split as friendly as possible under the circumstances.
Chris and his wife started out using RP Emery for their Separation Agreement. However, once the solicitors got involved, things spiralled out of control:
Chris split from his first wife in early 2011. He paid for and downloaded a Separation Agreement kit to reach an independent legal agreement with her.
At first, he and his ex-wife agreed to the terms and conditions on which they wanted to separate. They didn’t dispute each other’s role in the lives of their two children.
So, they also came up with a joint parenting arrangement that kept them out of the Family Court.
Things changed, though, when Chris’s ex-mother-in-law got involved. She insisted that the matter needed to go through court proceedings and that they use the family solicitor.
Things went downhill from there.
Chris had to secure his own solicitor to speak with the family solicitor. What started out as a peaceful split soon turned into a nightmare.
All communication had to go through their respective solicitors, which slowed the process down considerably. During that time, frustration and distrust took root and festered.
After five months, they were able to reach an agreement that was acceptable to both parties. But the damage had already been done.
This new turn of events cost Chris close to $13,000, with his wife spending an additional $18,000. Worst of all, it destroyed a previously good-humoured relationship.
And the irony of it?
The new agreement drafted by their respective solicitors mirrored the same terms and conditions that the couple had previously agreed upon.
Whether you’re dissolving a marriage or a de facto relationship, splitting up is tough.
You have to handle details like dividing assets and deciding where the children will live. Battling it out in court can be painful for all concerned.
Like Chris, you can save yourself a lot of money and extra heartache by using a divorce settlement agreement.
And it’s not just about the money savings… Agreements save time and help you move on with your life. More importantly, your children are protected from all the stress brought on by court proceedings.
Do you need an amicable way to start your separation?
With RP Emery and Associates, you can create a settlement agreement that simplifies the process. Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help you or click here to learn more about Divorce Settlement Agreement kits.