Parties often agree to a settlement many months or years into a divorce. In many cases, this settlement could easily have been reached many months before, not only speeding up the divorce but also resulting in a significantly cheaper process for both parties. For this reason, it is advisable to make a genuine good faith attempt to settle a matter fairly between the parties very early on already.

Settlement Agreement

If you have reached a settlement through negotiation or mediation, the next step is to reduce the settlement agreement to writing and have all the parties sign it. If everything has been settled, your spouse has to serve and file a document stating that he or she withdraws his or her defence, as the matter has been settled. The divorce then becomes unopposed and can be placed on the unopposed roll.

If there are minor children involved, the family advocate will have to approve of and stamp the settlement agreement before the court will accept it.

In Court, you will ask the court to incorporate the settlement agreement into the court order. Unless the Court has some serious concerns with some aspects of the settlement agreement, the Court will incorporate the agreement into the court order, and everything you agreed to will therefore also become an order of court.

A settlement agreement should address everything that was addressed in the particulars of claim and further court documents, as well as any other matters the parties want to include. The wording can be very important later on, so it is advisable to get legal assistance with drafting the settlement agreement.

In any event, you should at least try to cover the matters listed in the “Step-by-step” window on this page.

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