Divorce for a Mother of 1
- Applicant: Ms. Cha
- Nationality: Korean
- Applying For: Marriage Settlement Agreement
- Time: 2 days
- Didn’t want a complicated divorce process, because she had a young child to consider
- Knowing how to help an individual that just had their life turned upside down
- Very early into divorce proceedings, which could have led to a drawn-out divorce
- Required cooperation from parties that are not agreeable
It can be terrifying how fast your life can be turned upside down by a divorce. It can feel like suddenly overnight, every long-term plan that you had established in your head and in reality crumbles after years of dedication and work. Unfortunately, this is where our client, Ms. Cha found herself after she caught her husband cheating on her. She had been married to the man for ten years, she had recently had a child with him, and his actions ripped apart their life. Thus, it was no surprise that she was in dire stress when she came to us. She was even physically ill when she came to our office for a legal solution to the massive problem that had been dumped upon her.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
While we wished we could have met her during better circumstances, our attorneys also had the mediation and interpersonal skills necessary to calm Ms. Cha. Once we accomplished that, we listened to her story. She didn’t want a long, drawn out divorce affair, because she was thinking of her young child. Despite what her husband had done, she wanted to be able to maintain some sort of relationship with her husband, and given that divorce litigation can be among the longest and nastiest processes in the U.S. legal system, she was worried that contested litigation would lead to an even bigger divide between her and her husband.
Luckily for Ms. Cha, we could provide her with a second option, a marriage settlement agreement. Instead of representing only one party or the other, what we would do would be to become a neutral party intent on drawing fair and understanding divorce terms for both sides. We could do this much more quickly than two opposing attorneys could, and it would be cheaper than litigation. Ms. Cha was still upset about her circumstances, but she was hopeful that the settlement agreement could at least provide light at the end of the dark tunnel she was currently in.
“Joseph sat with Ms. Cha for a few hours, calming her down and getting her to open up about her situation. When she was finally able to describe what was going on and what she most wanted, we understood that a marriage settlement agreement was going to be her best option. I was glad that we were able to help someone who so recently had their life upended.” – Andy
We sent Ms. Cha home with our package of documents that she needed to fill out. To understand where she and her husband were financially, we needed her to provide us information on their bank accounts, major assets, property, and long-term savings accounts. Once she had filled out all the appropriate information, including who would become responsible for their young child, she returned the documentation back to us.
From there, we got to work doing our calculations. We wanted to make sure that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband both understood that we were not on anyone’s side, that we were looking to come to a fair agreement for both parties so that both sides could move on with their lives as fast as the law would allow. We drew up fair terms to both sides, and even wrote out unique terms. When considering any divorce, child support, spousal support, and retirement planning are key factors in the settlement. We also wanted to consider the possibility of remarriage as well. Because we were not interacting with the husband despite nominally working for him, we also put in options for him to look at, such as instead of monthly spousal support, instead he could pay in part directly to Ms. Cha’s mortgage. We wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t feel boxed in by any agreement that Ms. Cha presented to him, and we wanted to try to ensure that he knew that what we put to paper was going to be fair, despite the fact that we never got to speak with him.
When we finished writing up the marriage settlement agreement, we brought back Ms. Cha to our office to review it. She agreed that it was very fair to both parties, and she was delighted that we were able to draw up an agreement so quickly. She was even more delighted that she did not have to go through a nasty divorce and can live peacefully with her child.
*Name has been changed for client privacy.