My wife and I are getting ready to file for divorce. We have mutually areed on everything involving our divorce included the responsibilities and finances of our child. Upon the courts finalizing the divorce, can they supercede our decision or agreement? We have agreed on everything already, just need a court to finalize it. We are doing filing with forms off line, then filing it with the court.
The court having jurisdiction over the divorce will enter its own order. The court is not bound by any agreement or decision made by the parties, although as a general statement, the court will take into account and will consider agreements made as part of the separation agreement. Particularly when children born of the marriage are involved, the court will impose its own orders as far as child support, visitation, and custody. The Uniform Child Support Guidelines established in Rule 32 ARJA set forth standards for child support that must be followed by every court in this state. The child supprt guidlines cannot be waived or set aside by the parents. Visitation and child care is highly flexible and the court will consider the wishes of both parents in this regard.
Your best course of action is to seek the professional services of an attorney who specializes in divorce and family law and ask that a separation agreement be drafted that will comply with local court rule. Since the attorney cannot, as a matter of law, represent both parties to a divorce, one of you will have to sign a waiver of representation. (This is commonly done where the divorce is uncontested.)
Although the courts have the authority to supercede the agreement you and your wife have mutually agreed upon, most of the time they do not.
The Courts generally promote peaceful negotiations and almost always order mediation in Autauga County. The judges would rather that the parties come to an agreement. There are state guidelines as to the amount of child support which must be paid but it is not uncommon to deviate from the guidelines for various reasons. As long as the court is satisfied that the needs of the child will be met, and that the best interests of the children are taken into account, the settlement agreement will most likely be approved by the court.
It is always a good idea to have a lawyer glance over the paperwork before it is filed. Several lawyers offer free consultations and will give you feedback as to any potential problems. Its great that you have reached an agreement and hopefully you will work together to co-parent your children.
Melissa L. Isaak
Unless the Court finds some imbalance, inequity, or some reason why the agreement is not in the best interests of the child involved they will not supersede the wishes of the parties involved.
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