Divorce agreements put the terms of the divorce in writing and once they’re made official, both parties have to follow them. These agreements include a lot of standard stipulations, like alimony, child custody, and so forth. But in many cases, these agreements contain some stipulations that are anything but standard.
What is the process of creating a divorce agreement?
Many couples avoid the hassle of a courtroom battle by enlisting an attorney to help draft a divorce agreement. With the assistance of their attorneys, the spouses will negotiate the terms that will appear on the agreement. Once the parties sign the agreement, the court may incorporate it into the final divorce decree.
While reaching an agreement outside of court is preferable, many couples will not be able to agree on all the issues of their divorce. Those couples may need a judge to rule on certain aspects of the divorce agreement. This process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it may be the only option for couples who cannot settle their divorce issues amongst themselves.
What does a divorce agreement normally contain?
Most divorce agreements include terms regarding the following topics:
- Division of property: The agreement will specify how property (e.g., house, vehicles, pets, bank accounts) is distributed between the parties.
- Child custody: If the couple has children, the agreement will assign a primary caregiver for each child, as well as a visitation schedule for the non-primary caregiver.
- Child support: This will specify how much the non-custodial spouse will pay to the custodial parent to help meet the child’s basic needs.
- Alimony: The agreement will stipulate any spousal-support payments made from one spouse to the other.
Unusual Divorce Agreement Stipulations
While most divorce agreements aren’t out of the ordinary, some contain shocking surprises, and it seems that nothing is off limits. If you’re getting divorced and your former spouse can get you to sign an agreement without reviewing it with your lawyer, you could be held responsible for some pretty ridiculous things.
Here are a few examples of unusual divorce agreement terms:
Actress Katie Holmes filed for divorce from actor Tom Cruise in 2012. According to some media outlets, the former couple’s divorce agreement may contain a clause prohibiting Holmes from dating publicly for five years from the date of the divorce. If she decides to go public with a new partner before 2017, she would have to give back the $5 million she received in the settlement.
After years of turmoil, Albert Einstein was so desperate for a divorce from his first wife, physicist Mileva Marić, that he agreed to give her the financial reward for any future Nobel Prize if she agreed to the divorce. The final agreement also stated that if Marić died or remarried, the award money would go to the couple’s two sons. In 1921, Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics, leaving his ex-wife richly rewarded.
Even members of royalty are not immune from unusual divorce agreements. When Princess Diana and Prince Charles got divorced, their agreement required Princess Diana to give up the title “Her Royal Highness.” This meant that the Princess had to curtsey to anyone who had the “Royal Highness” title, including her own children.
Ensuring that your divorce agreement is fair and reasonable can be a challenging process. While Georgia may not enforce many of the bizarre stipulations that you find in some divorce agreements, you must still thoroughly understand all of the agreement’s provisions before signing.
Attorney David Ward has years of experience handling complex divorce cases and can help you review your divorce agreement to protect your rights and avoid negative outcomes. Call 770-383-1973.