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Divorce | Family

What should a woman ask for in a divorce?

7 min read
Flora Tan

by Flora Tan

What you ask for in a divorce can affect your financial situation for years to come. This is why it’s important that you take this seriously and make sure your rights are protected. Here’s what you should ask for in a divorce settlement.

When a marriage terminates, it is usually women who see a larger drop in income. This happens because it’s usually women who pause their careers to take care of the children. When they return to the workforce, they will often be making less than when they left it. Taking into account child rearing expenses, dealing with the aftermath of a divorce can put a lot of pressure on a woman. 

To avoid financial vulnerability, it’s important that you carefully consider what you ask for in a divorce settlement. The laws regarding how marital assets are managed after a separation differ depending on the state you are in. Consult an unbundled estate planning attorney in your area today for an evaluation of your case.

What is a Divorce Settlement?

A divorce settlement is, in essence, a separation agreement. It’s an important document that defines the terms of your divorce. It is also the primary document used in uncontested divorces (a divorce where both spouses agree on the terms on which they separate).

If you are in agreement regarding the terms of your divorce, you won’t need to go to court. The judge will simply look over your divorce settlement agreement to make sure it’s written properly, is fair to both ex-spouses, and is drafted in accordance with state laws. Talk to an unbundled estate lawyer in your area today about your options for drafting a divorce settlement agreement.

What is a Fair Divorce Settlement?

In a lot of states, a fair divorce settlement is defined as the settlement that splits the couple’s assets into equal parts. And in most cases, this should be the starting point for your divorce settlement. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to sell all your property and other assets and split the proceeds right down the middle. A better approach would be to try to divide your assets in a fair and equal way, where each spouse gets what they need the most. 

This means that you and your spouse will need to discuss and evaluate your needs to arrive at a favorable conclusion. Below, you will find several key points that need to be managed in a divorce settlement. 

What Should a Woman Ask for in a Divorce Settlement?

Even in an amicable divorce, women often end up in a more complicated financial situation after separation. Because of this, it’s very important that you consider including the following provisions in your divorce settlement:

Child custody, visitation rights, and parenting time

One of the purposes of a divorce settlement agreement is to determine child custody and alimony payments. This may be one of the most complicated issues to settle and it may require extensive negotiation.

In most cases, it will be in your and your child’s best interest if the father of the child has full visitation rights instead of the bare minimum. First, it’s a great way to reduce conflict between you and your spouse. Second, with the father bearing an equal part of the responsibility (both when it comes to time and finances), you will have more time for work and other activities. Moreover, equal parenting time also means that child expenses will be divided equally. 

Health insurance

This is another thing to take into account. If your spouse used to manage health insurance payments, it will be in your best interest to arrange for them to keep paying for health insurance as part of your divorce settlement. Health and life insurance payments are typically expensive and having these managed will be an important contribution to your post-divorce budget. You can also ask your spouse to keep you as the beneficiary of their life insurance. This will protect you and your children if your spouse passes and ensure that you have enough means to support your family. 


If your child is enrolled in a school or college, reaching an agreement on these payments is important. If your child is not in school now, it is still worth making financial arrangements for the future when they do attend school and college. You may consider starting a college fund for your child where both of you would make regular contributions. The amount and schedule of these contributions can also be defined in the divorce settlement agreement. 


If you are retiring in the near future, you may also want to add a clause to your divorce settlement regarding the division of your retirement fund. Most retirement funds (including the 401k), need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to be divided. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is a court order that determines that a portion of your retirement plan will be assigned to another person. 

In your divorce settlement agreement, you will need to determine who will be responsible for completing the QDRO. It’s also a good idea to agree on how you will manage the payments for arranging the needed documents. 

If you and your partner can’t reach an agreement on any or some of the points above, you may want to consider hiring a mediator. Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution facilitated by a mediator. A mediator doesn’t have to be a lawyer — it can be any third party willing to guide your through the negotiations of contested issues and help you reach a consensus. 

How To Draft a Divorce Settlement Agreement?

There are several ways in which you can approach creating a divorce settlement agreement.

The most economical version is to draft the agreement yourself. However, this is hardly recommended. If you make a mistake when drafting your agreement, the judge may find it invalid. In this case, you need to start from scratch and will be losing quite a bit of time.

You can also hire a lawyer to draft your divorce settlement agreement for you. This is the most recommended way to approach managing a divorce settlement. A lawyer will make sure that your agreement is drafted properly and will not be turned down by the judge. They will also check if the agreement covers all your financial and custody issues so that you don’t run into any problems in the future. 

However, you should be aware of the related costs. Most lawyers will charge you a package fee for a full set of services associated with handling your divorce. This can add up to anything from $4,000 to $15,000. If you agree on most of the points in your divorce settlement agreement, then the cost of drafting it will be on the lower side. On the other hand, if your situation is more complicated, you should be prepared to bear additional costs: for instance, your attorney may charge $300-$500 per hour for any extra time they need to spend on your case. 

To bring down the costs of your divorce agreement, consider using meditation. This may help you sort out any disagreements you might have before meeting with the lawyer. 

There is also another way of managing the divorce settlement agreement costs. You can use unbundled legal services. 

How to Save Money on Legal Costs with Unbundled Legal Services?

If you want to avoid paying exorbitant amounts in legal costs when drafting your settlement agreement, unbundled legal services may be the best way to go. Here’s how it works. When you use unbundled legal services, you can choose what aspects of drafting the agreement you want the lawyer to help you with and pay for only these specific tasks. 

For instance, if you and your spouse are in agreement on all the points in your divorce settlement agreement, you can draft the base of the agreement yourself. You can then have the lawyer look over your settlement to make sure it’s correct and complete.

Naturally, this scenario may not be the best option if your divorce settlement agreement is more complicated and if you and your spouse have substantial disagreements. In this case, it will be best that each spouse has full legal representation.

Unbundled Legal Help can also be helpful here. Because here at Unbundled Legal Help we work with a lot of smaller law firms and independent attorneys, you may be able to find the prices in our network much more affordable.

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