I have started the proceedings for what should be an amicable divorce and have just served my future ex-wife with the papers.
We have agreed on joint custody and thus no child support, but I now believe that we don’t need the court to determine or have a say in this and would prefer to not show how we are handling child support, visitation, etc., in our divorce agreement. Even letting her take the marital home shouldn’t be the court’s concern.
Do I just not include a property agreement or child custody paperwork, or do I need to include the fact that we would like to handle these matters ourselves?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
The answer will depend upon what exactly is contained in the paperwork that you served your wife. If it is just a single count divorce, and does not contain any language related to equitable distribution, custody, child support, etc., in the complaint itself, then the court will not have jurisdiction over any of these issues.
Accordingly, you would not have to file (or even mention) any settlements you may have reached on your own. So if neither one of you has raised any of these claims, you do not have to mention or file anything with the court related to those claims.
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However, I would offer you a word of caution. If neither you or your wife raise these claims, and then a divorce decree is granted, and your wife does not comply with what you have agreed to regarding dividing your property, the family court will have no jurisdiction over the matter and will not be able to enforce your agreement; it would have to be dealt with in a civil court.
Also, since you will be getting divorced, it is in your best interest to not be jointly liable for debts. Therefore, if she is to keep the house, she really should refinance it into just her name.
Lastly, custody and child support are modifiable even after a divorce decree is granted, and could be filed for separately before, after, or during the divorce process.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.