Both parties work out who will be responsible for what, how the assets and debts will be divided and how the children will be taken care of. It can be a highly emotional subject and it may help to do it through lawyers though it is more costly. Once it has all been worked out it will go to court.
In a divorce settlement, the partners workout the parameters of the divorce – assets, debts, child custody, etc. – and present the settlement to the family court for review and approval. Divorce settlements mitigate the possibility of a long, litigious divorce proceeding marked by financial duress, long trials and uncertain outcomes. If at all possible, you and your estranged partner should craft a divorce settlement in lieu of a full blown litigation.