What are the risks if a divorcing couple creates their own settlement agreement?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2010

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What are the risks if a divorcing couple creates their own settlement agreement?

Does it negatively impact the primary financial contributor for the house?  I paid the downpayment for the house and am the only one on the loan. My ex contributed to 4 months of the mortgage prior to being removed with a protection order for abuse. I have since paid the mortgage by myself for 14 months. We were only married 7 months. We have fought between lawyers for the last year to reach a settlement agreement and have depleted each of our savings. My ex states that we do not need a settlement agreement. I know we need one and at the very least want to create our own. What are the risks to creating our own? I do not have money for the lawyer anymore.

Asked on December 30, 2010 under Family Law, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Listen, it is always best to agree on the settlement of the issues between you but it is always a risk that you are not in compliance with the laws on distribution of assets if you do no have an attorney at least review it on a consultation basis.  That really may be the way for you to go.  Although it appears from what you have written that you are the owner of the house it was purchased during the marriage, correct? You need to protect yourself and the money you have paid part of your ex's obligation, get a credit for the down payment but make sure you are not ripping off your ex.  Good luck to you.  

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