→Alternatives to separation agreements
Settlement can be reached in a number of different ways before a court proceeding has started, through negotiation, mediation, a collaborative settlement process, or arbitration. Settlements reached in these ways are almost always recorded in the form of a separation agreement.
Settlements reached after a proceeding has started
are generally only recorded as separation agreements if they are unusually complicated or if there are concerns about whether a term of the settlement can be put into a court order. Otherwise, a settlement of litigation will be recorded as minutes of settlement or a consent order.
====Minutes of settlement====
===Other final agreements===
Any dispute a couple has can be resolved by a formal contract of some nature. Separation agreements
are usually signed by married spouses or unmarried spouses and deal with a large range of issues, from the care of children to the division of property and debt.
Some couples may only have one issue to resolve and the usual sort of separation agreement isn't required. People who are just parents and never married or cohabited may want a parenting agreement that talks about parental responsibilities and the allocation of parenting time. Couples, including unmarried spouses who lived together for less than two years, who only need to deal with child support and/or spousal support may want a support agreement that deals with either or both issues. Couples who only need to resolve who keeps what property and which debts may want a simple property agreement.