Traditional divorce proceedings can take up to a year or more before the judge grants the final decree. This amount of time may be very difficult and expensive.
Fortunately, there is a way to expedite the process: through a stipulated judgment. If both parties agree on all terms in their marriage, they can put those agreements on paper. The court will then review the form and if everything checks out, there should be no further proceedings.
By agreeing on all aspects of the divorce terms beforehand, couples can avoid arduous disputes in the courtroom. Hot button issues such as spousal support, child custody and property division will already be out of the way. Also, considering that a stipulated judgment comes from a court order, the process is faster because the court will have less paperwork to review.
A stipulated judgment can be very helpful, but only if the couple understands what they are agreeing on. Once the court gets the petition, it is not easy to back out. Each party should carefully consider the terms before signing on to anything. In California, the couple must notarize the document before submitting it. Also, some factors come with added requirements; if a local child support agency works with one of the spouses, for example, a representative may have to sign off on some of the agreements.
Most people want to get their divorce over with as soon as possible. While it is not good to rush and overlook important matters, it helps to have a plan in place before going to court.