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Will I get a copy of our settlement agreement?

Divorce proceedings represent some of the most emotionally and legally challenging types of court cases in the U.S. judicial system. If you are heading to divorce court, or are already there, you likely have a number of questions, and you likely will have even more as your case progresses.

The complexity and other challenges associated with divorce cases underscores the importance of retaining experienced legal representation. The reality is that you best protect your legal rights and interests in nearly any legal proceeding, including one for marriage dissolution, by retaining an experienced attorney.

As you progress through a divorce case, you likely will find yourself with some seemingly basic, but nonetheless important, questions. One essential question that you may have is will I get a copy of our settlement agreement. The simple answer to this question is yes you will obtain a copy of your settlement agreement. In fact, you will receive a copy of your agreement at a number of different junctures as your case progresses.

Negotiating a Divorce Settlement

When at all possible, a couple in divorce court usually is best served by negotiating a settlement between themselves. Ideally, each party is represented by a capable attorney, which makes settlement negotiations more efficient and effective.

During the course of negotiations, if all goes essentially well, a draft settlement agreement will be prepared. Both you and your legal counsel will receive this draft settlement agreement.

Although you may be represented by an attorney, it is important that you read the draft settlement agreement yourself. You need to make sure that you understands the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement. If you have any questions, you need to make sure that you obtain full and complete answers from your lawyer.

Final Draft of Divorce Settlement

Once all of the details of a settlement have been hammered out between you and your spouse, you will receive a final draft of a settlement agreement. You and your attorney once again will review the document. You both need to make absolutely certain that the settlement agreement accurately reflected what you have agreed to in your case.

Once you confirm the document accurate reflects your agreement with your spouse, you will sign it, usually in front of a notary public. Your spouse will follow the same process. When this is concluded, the settlement agreement is submitted to the court.

Certified Copy of Divorce Decree

Ultimately, the court will incorporate your settlement agreement into the final order of the court in your case, or the divorce decree. You may need an official copy of your divorce decree, which includes the incorporated settlement agreement, to take care of some of your affairs following your divorce.

A formal or official copy of a your divorce decree is called a “certified copy” in most jurisdictions. This is a copy of your divorce decree, and incorporated settlement agreement, that is verified or certified by the clerk of the court as being a true and correct copy of original court order. The clerk’s office affixes a stamp designating the certification of the document. You will receive a certified copy of your divorce decree as a matter of routine practice following the conclusion of your divorce case. You may actually request additional certified copies, depending on your specific needs following divorce proceedings.