Why Must I Read My Divorce Agreement? By Don Sinkov{2:24 minutes to read} How often have I received a phone call from divorced spouses asking questions about their settlement agreement? I offer a review session to go over the agreement before they sign it, but to my amazement, almost nobody wants to pay for the hour to ask questions and get a good understanding of what they are agreeing to.

I know that money is tight, but how important is it for you to read and understand the details of the divorce agreement? Answer:  VERY IMPORTANT!

This is not an admonishment, but a recommendation – a strong recommendation.

The settlement agreement is your roadmap. This is the contract that settles all issues regarding:

  • the children;
  • equitable distribution of assets;
  • spousal maintenance;
  • alimony; and
  • everything else.

The settlement agreement is what you have agreed to as a product of your negotiations. It’s long, detailed, and painstakingly prepared. It’s the document you’re going to be following post-divorce.

How many people really read and understand their agreements? Maybe half.

The other half never read it and are often at odds with their spouse because they don’t know what the agreement says. Sometimes people agree to things in a mediation process and then never read the agreement before they sign it. Some have had it reviewed by an attorney, some have not. Sometimes the attorneys miss things, and during the review process, don’t explain it to their clients, and their clients don’t read it on their own. And that’s why I get a lot of cases for post-divorce mediation.

If someone were to ask me the best advice I could give a couple going through mediation, divorce or separation, it would be to read your agreement before you sign it. If you don’t understand it or there is a problem, get it explained or get it fixed before you sign it. Believe me, this will avoid many problems later on.

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: Info@YourDivorceMediator.com