Knowledgeable Northern Virginia Separation Agreements

Northern Virginia separation agreements

Many people come into the separation and divorce process hopeful that they can reach an agreement with their spouse rather than having to endure the cost and stress of litigation. 

Even in highly contested cases, a majority of cases in family law are resolved through ​​​​​​ written separation agreements, including many cases that are initially filed as contested matters with the court.

Marital Settlement Agreements (sometimes also called Property Settlement Agreements) contain provisions addressing all issues between spouses, including child custody, child support, spousal support, health insurance, life insurance, taxes, college education, and  division of property such as real estate, stock, stock options, mutual funds and other investments, businesses, retirement plans, and personal property, and the division of debts including tax debt, credit card debt and other secured debts.

The process of reaching a Marital Settlement Agreement can vary from case to case depending on the needs of the client and the issues involved.  In some cases, the agreement can be negotiated through lawyers, coordinating with clients via email and a few in-person meetings.  In other cases, we find that it is helpful to move the process along by meeting with the opposing party and his/her attorney.  We also work with mediators and retired judges when we believe that a neutral third party will be helpful to get the parties to a final agreement that meets both of their needs.  We work with each client to ensure that they are comfortable with the process, as all decisions made with regard to Marital Settlement Agreements ultimately come from the client.  Our clients’ satisfaction is our goal and we encourage our clients to ask questions if they are unsure about the direction or strategy in negotiations.

Even when contested litigation is ongoing, our attorneys still keep an eye toward a possible settlement through a Marital Settlement Agreement, including the use of Partial or Interim Marital Settlement Agreements.  Such partial or interim agreements can resolve some of the issues to reduce costs for clients even if some issues still need to be presented before a court.  Virginia courts recognize and incorporate partial and interim settlement agreements into court orders, just as they do with full Marital Settlement Agreements. 

Settlement Agreements can also be used to resolve cases between unmarried couples who share children and need to resolve child custody, child visitation and child support issues.  As with divorce, these matters can often be settled out of court to avoid the cost of litigation and can later be incorporated into orders in the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts.  Our lawyers have worked to incorporate Settlement Agreements into Orders throughout Northern Virginia.

The attorneys at Hirsch & Ehlenberger, P.C have decades of experience drafting such agreements, ranging from the simple to the highly complex.  We are skilled at negotiating the terms of the agreements, whether we have drafted them for you or are working off of a draft provided by your spouse’s attorney. While we are based in Reston Virginia, our experience in courts throughout Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Arlington County, and Alexandria City allows us to advise our clients on potential court-ordered outcomes if they do not reach a negotiated agreement.  It is critical to have a skilled lawyer on your side when you need a separation agreement in Fairfax County or anywhere in Northern Virginia.  If you would like more information about what to expect before, during and after your divorce, contact us at Hirsch & Ehlenberger, PC for an initial consultation with a skilled lawyer in regards to Northern Virginia separation agreements.