Alimony Reform

3 things to consider when deciding if a quick divorce settlement is appropriate in your family law case.


I was representing a Dad at a Temporary Hearing in a divorce case filed about 6 weeks ago by Mom.   Prior to the call of the case, the opposing attorney walked up to me and asked if I was interested in hearing a proposal to resolve all issues and obtain a divorce in lieu of proceeding with a contentious Temporary Hearing. Given the particular facts of this case, I was very interested and in short order we had a complete settlement of all issues and had obtained a complete settlement a mere 6 weeks after filing the case.

These are 3 facts that were in place at the time of this Hearing that made a quick settlement the right choice for Mom and Dad.

  1. A status quo had been established: Mom and Dad had been separated for some time and had developed a comfortable status quo regarding the parenting of two small children. They were agreeable to keep the general framework of this status quo in place.
  2. Strong evidence of marital fault. Dad had in his possession convincing evidence of legal fault committed by wife that he was prepared to introduce at the Temporary Hearing. This evidence was necessary to defeat a claim being made by Mom and it was very embarrassing to her.
  3. The division of marital estate was straightforward. We knew the nature of the financial accounts and their values, and it was not difficult to commit to permanent division of assets and debts at that time.

In our case, Dad paid Mom a sum of money representing the present value of Mom’s share of Dad’s retirement. This present value sum of money was discounted to reflect Mom’s clear legal fault. Dad also took all marital debt (which was also factored into the cost of Mom’s retirement).

It was important for Mom to have legal and physical custody of the kids. But Mom also gained very clear and enforceable rules surrounding the conditions of Dad’s visitation with the kids in addition to a little more child support.

The facts of this family law case permitted us to come to an agreement in principle rather quickly. Once we had an agreement in principle, I knew we would settle the case then and there and save this family much emotional suffering and financial loss.

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