WHAT IS SETTLEMENT?
A settlement is an agreement between the parties as to how everything involved in the case is to be resolved. If a settlement is basically fair and equitable to both parties, the court will probably adopt it into its Order. If a settlement is too lopsided in favor of one person, the court will not allow it.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CASE IS NOT SETTLED?
If a divorce case is not settled, the court ordinarily will decide who gets what after a full trial of all the issues. Dissolution cases are always settled before they are ever filed. Divorce cases my be settled between the parties at any time up to the final hearing.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CASE IS SETTLED?
If a divorce case is settled, it becomes uncontested and typically can proceed to finality much more quickly than can a contested case.
CAN A DISSOLUTION EVER BE CONTESTED?
A dissolution is always settled and uncontested when it is filed. But, if one of the parties should decide before it is final that he or she no longer agrees to the settlement, the case will be dismissed unless the parties quickly reach a new settlement which is acceptable to the court.
WHAT IS A LEGAL SEPARATION CASE?
This is a case where the parties remain married, but in which the court is nevertheless asked to determine who gets what and who pays what. A legal separation case involves virtually everything which is involved in a divorce case except the termination of the marriage.