Many Texas couples no longer want to go through a potentially contentious, time-consuming and expensive courtroom battle. Instead, they negotiate their own divorce settlements with or without the assistance of mediation or collaborative law. However, that agreement is still subject to the approval of the court.
Like courts in many other states, Texas family courts often encourage couples to settle their issues without the intervention or assistance of the court. If the parties are able to deal with matters such as child custody, child support and property division, along with spousal maintenance, when necessary, all that is left is for the court to approve the settlement. If the provisions of the agreement meet the expectations of the court, it may be approved.
However, what happens if the parties are only able to agree on some issues, or the court fails to approve one or more provisions of the agreement? The court could order the parties to go back and renegotiate certain provisions. If the parties are still unable to reach an agreement on certain issues, the court will make those decisions based upon the evidence submitted by each party.
Obviously, it would be in a couple’s best interests to come to a full agreement on all issues in order to avoid spending more time in court. However, the agreed upon divorce settlement also needs to comply with current law and public policy. In order to ensure that happens, each party will benefit by retaining legal counsel to help ensure the agreement protects each party’s rights and stands up to the scrutiny of the court.
Source: FindLaw, “Settlement Agreements and Court Approval“, Accessed on June 4, 2017