What To Ask For In A Divorce Settlement?

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Lori Pace

Negotiating custody is stressful. You have to decide how you will afford two homes, how you will share parenting time, and how you will protect your children from conflict. Most likely, you are thinking about your home, your new job, and a new budget. There are lots of things single moms need to ask for, and/or discuss in a divorce settlement to make sure that you have the best support for your child’s life.

It is easy to want negotiations to move as fast as possible.

Short List That Everyone Should Ask For In A Divorce Settlement

What should I do in divorce proceedings? How can you decide what to ask for in divorce negotiations? If you aren’t sure what to ask, these are the top things to remember when divorcing.

  1. A quick divorce – Find out if you are eligible for a quick divorce in the state where you live and then get on to a settlement agreement. Mediation is a cost-effective way for couples to deal with any difficulties they may face. It involves a neutral trained professional.
  2. Go for 50/50 parenting schedules – has examples of 50/50 parenting schedules.
  3. Insurance – Insurance is the most important item in a divorce settlement agreement. This is everything you need about insurance after divorce.
  4. The house – If you have the funds, you might keep the house. You can read more about this below. Are you worried about the future of your home? Check to see if you are eligible for a refi.
  5. The jewelry – The jewelry is usually considered to be a gift. This includes an bridal ring.

Specific Cases Of Things To Ask For In A Divorce Settlement

Divorce Settlement

House Or The Proceeds Of A Sale

Marital property is any real estate you have bought together. The assets are usually divided 50-50 after a divorce. The assets of the home can be divided or transferred in many ways.

What Happens When You Divorce And You Own A Home Together?

Before you can divide any equity in your home, it is important to understand its value. Your spouse and you can come to an agreement on a price that you both agree upon. This is based on the current home sales in your area. If that is not possible, couples often hire an appraiser for a fair-market valuation of their home. You can then use this number to negotiate any other aspects of your financial settlement.

Who Is Entitled To The House In A Divorce?

If the house was bought during marriage and is jointly owned by the husband and wife, both spouses will be entitled to equal parts of the equity. There are pros & cons to owning a house during a divorce. It may not be financially feasible for you.

How Is A House Split In A Divorce?

You can distribute your income in many ways:

  • The house is owned by one spouse, while the other spouse buys it out using cash-out refinance.
  • Split the proceeds and sell the house
  • The house is owned by one spouse, who receives less in retirement distributions or other marital assets.

You may refinance your home to pay off your ex-partner.

Can A House Sale Be Forced In Divorce?

Sometimes, a divorce decree may require that the house be sold to split the equity or to pay off debts owed by either spouse or to meet other financial obligations. In these cases, it must be followed.

If one spouse wishes to keep the marital home, but can’t come up with enough money to pay the other spouse what was agreed upon (or ordered by a judge), then a court may order the sale of the property in compliance with the terms of the divorce.

Must Ask About Co-parenting Plan In A Divorce Settlement

Equal parenting time—no child support

Equal parenting time
Equal parenting time and housing settlement in divorce.

Asking your children’s dad to assume responsibility for their kids, and not just to ‘give’ or ‘visit’ them, reduces conflict and dramatically increases the likelihood that he will be active in parenting. He will also pay any extra support that is needed.

A co-parent sharing the responsibility for caring for the children equally can also mean that you have more time to work and earn, which is good news for all the family.

It can be difficult, I admit. I was initially opposed to it. But expecting equal time from both parents is good for children, parents, and feminism. No Child Support makes sense since each parent has equal work-life balance.

Co-Parenting Mandates

Mandatory co-parenting classes and regular, scheduled meetings can be included in the co-parenting program. You can set the tone for cooperation and communication by asking for things in a divorce proceedings at the beginning.

Right Of First Refusal

First right of refusal is the principle that one parent cannot be present with the children on the designated days. The other parent has first rights to refuse. This is often overlooked in divorce agreements. This can be a great way to avoid many arguments, but it is often overlooked.

Co-Parent Communication

You can determine how often you communicate with your parent, how long each one takes to reply to messages, and the communication methods required (text, email, or phone — whatever you agree to).

It is likely that you will agree to keep one another informed about any academic or medical challenges your children face, as well as behavioral and emotional issues. This should not be overlooked in divorce agreements.

Co-Parent Schedule

A parenting plan that is equal can be implemented in many ways:

  • One week in, one week out with each parent
  • Two weeks later, two weeks off for each parent
  • Every other weekend plus some weeknights with each parent
  • 3-4-4-3-3: Three days with one parent, 4 days with another parent, 4 days with each parent, then four days with each parent. After that, three days with one parent, and then four days with both parents, followed by four days with each parent. Finally, three days with one parent, then four days with the second parent, and finally three days with the third parent.
  • Two-days on, 2 days off (more suitable for small children)

The co-parenting schedule should be discussed as well as summer holidays, school breaks, and other vacations. They should all be equally shared for equal parenting responsibility and equal enjoyment for the children!

Co-parent Calendar

It is essential to set up a shared calendar for co-parenting, regardless of whether you use Google Calendar or a scheduler within a co-parenting application. You can modify these calendars as you both agree. They can also be shared with grandparents, nannies, and even the children as they get smartphone.

Guidelines For Holiday And Vacation Schedules

Holiday And Vacation Schedules

This is an opportunity to outline how you will celebrate special occasions with your ex. Be flexible and accommodating, however. Life is complex and long. Both of you will need to adapt your lives accordingly.

Shared Time For Vacation

Sharing responsibility for children’s care during school holidays, school breaks, summer vacations, breaks, half-days, and when they are sick. Refer to the above. You can view this time as a blessing, or a burden. However, it is your responsibility to take care of it. The pay gap can’t be closed until it happens.


Routine safety provisions at the home of the other parent: No guns, window locks or smoke alarms. This is something that many parents forget to include in their agreements.

Coming-Of-Age Celebrations

This is often missed in divorce agreements. It may be important for you and your children’s dad to prioritize saving for and sharing the costs of your kids’ bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs.

Relationship Building

Who is allowed to spend time with the children when each partner starts dating? Can a new partner be allowed to stay the night? Do I have to meet my boyfriend or girlfriend first?

Clauses that prevent your child’s parent from introducing a boyfriend or girlfriend to their children are not binding and only reflect jealousy and control. What do you want to happen if a new partner is found? Drag your ex-partner to court to have her spanked by a judge. What happens if the woman you meet isn’t what you want? 

You have no say over whether she becomes your stepmom.

These clauses are unnecessary. Instead, focus on healing your jealousy, hurt feelings, and normal feeling of losing control. Trust me, it gets better.

Therapy For Kids And Teens

Therapy is difficult for children, no matter how peaceful your split. In the parenting agreement, state that each party is responsible for transporting and paying for therapy sessions. This can be easy to forget, as it can be difficult to remember. However, it should be included in the agreement.

Online therapy websites like BetterHelp are a great option if you have limited time or money and don’t want to choose a counselor for your child. For unlimited messaging and weekly live sessions, prices start at $60 per week. There is financial assistance. You can choose from thousands of certified and licensed therapists and have sessions via phone, video, chat, or email. 

Ongoing Meditation Or Counseling After Divorce For Co-Parents

To co-parent peacefully, you need to communicate regularly and continuously. This can be especially difficult after a divorce or breakup, when emotions are high.

Instead of arguing via text and screaming at each other on the front lawn in front of the neighbors and children, you might consider writing into your separation agreement/parenting plan ongoing family therapy or couples therapy.

Documentation To Ask For In A Divorce Settlement

Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards And Passports

The primary custody parent will be granted the right to hold important documents if there is a flight risk, or other serious issues with your custody arrangement. This should be stated in any case.

Passport And Written Permission To Travel Internationally With The Kids (Or Not)

No matter if you have relatives in another country, you should consider vacationing abroad. Every mom should do this now, even if there is a legal reason to be concerned that your children’s dad might kidnap them abroad.

You can also get permission in writing to travel internationally with your children. It is possible to assume that your ex and you are on the same page regarding exposing your children to the world or visiting relatives overseas.

Your relationship with your ex can be strained at any moment, and your Mexico vacation you had planned could turn into a conflict.

Fair Share Of Child Care, After-School, Camp And Extracurricular Activities

It can be difficult to believe that your children will need thousands of dollars each year, especially if they are small. But ask any parent. Each parent should pay their fair share, depending on income (which may change which will cause you to revisit the equation).

Amount Of Money To Ask For In A Divorce Settlement

Amount Of Money To Ask For In A Divorce Settlement

Debt After Divorce

It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, both spouses are responsible for any credit card, student loan, tax, medical, auto, and real estate debt that they have accumulated during marriage. It doesn’t matter who ran up the credit card debt or insists on the Land Rover. Both of you are on the hook.

Credit Card, Tax And Personal Loan Debt

Legally, it is likely that you will be responsible for any debts incurred during your marriage. You should keep all documentation, including the interest rates and due dates, of all statements.

Student Loans

If you have student debt that was taken out before you get married, it is likely that the loanee will continue to owe the lender. If the debt was assumed in marriage, it will likely be the responsibility of both spouses, at least to some extent, and can become messy.

Bring all information that you have, including the dates of signing the deeds, the terms of the loans and whether they were used for school, books, fees or living expenses, to the table.

Life Insurance Policies In Divorce Settlement

A life insurance policy is something every mom should look into, even if they have no income. Name your children as beneficiaries.

Long-Term Care Insurance In Divorce Settlement

You need to have a plan in place to cover long-term care, especially for women over 50. About 70% of Americans will need some form of long-term care, while 18% of women will need it for at least 5 years.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, long-term nursing home care costs an average of $92,376 annually.

Health Insurance After Divorce

Consider what is best for your kids and an equitable payment for premiums or out-of-pocket costs. This is usually divided according to each spouse’s income. It may be a good idea for one parent to take over the responsibility if they have a generous health plan through their employer.

Who Claims Children On Taxes

Many families take turns taking the children or equally splitting the deductions. Make sure to take deductions if your ex has a history of not paying his share.

Separation Of Credit And Bank Accounts

Credit fraud is most commonly committed during divorce and separation. It is possible for a fighting exe to steal your personal information in order to open credit cards or loans under your name, not pay off debts, and it is also common for children to be stolen.

Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are the three main credit reporting agencies. However, each agency provides credit scores and reports in slightly different ways. To see where you stand, get your FICO credit score from TransUnion.

Next, remove your name and address from accounts that were attached to your ex. You can open bank and credit card accounts in your name. Also, make sure you’re not obligated to make student loan, mortgage, or car payments.

College Tuition For The Kids

In some states, like Illinois, divorced parents must pay a portion of college costs. Establish the amount each parent must contribute to college investment funds, or pay at time of enrollment. A common strategy that has worked for many families is to reallocate funds from a 529 college investment account once the children have left child care.

Private School Tuition

If your children will attend religious or private school, you should determine who will pay tuition, books, uniforms, and other fees during divorce.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!