Marital Settlement & Separation Agreements Legal Forms

For couples with or without children. These agreements cover division of property and debts, responsibilty for insurance and custody issues.

Popular - Marital Settlement and Separation Agreements for use by couples with or without children. These agreements include the terms which should be decided including division of property and debts, who is responsible for insurance and with whom any children will reside.

Marital Settlement & Separation Agreements FAQ

What is a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement?

Also known as separation agreements or property settlement agreements, a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement is a contract between two divorcing parties that lays out the terms of their divorce. When agreed upon by both parties, these agreements will then make arrangements for the usage and ownership of assets, as well as handle issues like division of bills, alimony, insurance, and the overall division of the property pertaining to the marriage. In most cases, these agreements will also handle by which methods these issues are going to be resolved and separated.

Generally these agreements are separated into two types: those for couples with children and those for couples without children.

Why does the agreement differ for couples depending on whether they have children or not?

The issue of handling the children of a divorce can obviously get very complicated. Marital Settlement and Separation Agreements are not easily modified to suit the needs and wishes of the divorcing spouses, as well as address the care of the children involved. That’s why it’s important that the appropriate type of agreement be used to suit the child situation of the couple getting a divorce.

What kind of answers can be provided for a divorce in one of these forms?

If both sides agree to the terms of the agreement, a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement can actually offer a comprehensive overview of the terms of the divorce. All property – from real estate on down – can be addressed in one of these forms, as can the issue of alimony payments. In the case of Marital Settlement and Separation Agreements where children are involved, the contract can list in detail the terms of child custody and the visitation rights of the parent to whom custody has not been granted. It can also lay out the terms for dual custody.

Are Marital Settlement and Separation Agreements for couples without children easier?

The better word would be “simpler.” There is less potential for complications in these agreements, but it’s also important to remember that other issues of divorce – alimony, property division, insurance, etc. – will still be present in a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement for couples without children.

What if my spouse and I can’t agree on divorce terms?

The Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement is simply the result of negotiations between both parties; it’s up to the individual parties and their lawyers to reach agreements on the terms that will be laid out in the ultimate Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement. However, working with this agreement in mind can be a good way of beginning negotiations and learning exactly what kind of issues need to be resolved before it’s signed.

What provisions of the Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement will I need to pay attention to?

Naturally, you’ll want to pay attention to all of them, but here are the provisions that essentially make a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement unique:

  • Property Division: Deciding not only which property will belong to whom, this provision also lays out a strategy for dividing up the property. For example, if a house is granted to one party, the other party may need to cede their ownership via quitclaim deed – and the command to do so will appear in this provision of the Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement.
  • Division of Bills: As expenses continue even after a divorce is final, it’s important to lay out the division of bills to ensure that bills are still promptly paid. This has long-term effects on each spouse’s finances that will last long after the marriage is already legally dissolved.
  • Alimony Payment: The terms of alimony – if any – are outlined here. If the case goes to court, an alimony payment will be set (as will other provisions that were not agreed upon in a settlement agreement) by the courts.
  • Insurance: Setting the terms for handling insurance (such as removing a spouse as an insurance beneficiary) is an oft-overlooked but a crucial and important part of the process of being financially honest with all insurance providers.

What happens if we can’t agree to terms for the Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement?

If an agreement cannot be reached, then the divorce case will likely go to court, where all of the provisions mentioned above will actually not be agreed upon between the two parties, but will actually be decided by the court. Much of the time, it’s important to avoid letting a court decide the terms of the divorce which is why it’s so important to keep open communication about the Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement.

When is a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement enforceable?

Once the agreement is made, it will be up to the final dissolution of marriage to ensure that the agreement signed by both parties is then valid and enforceable. Generally there are no specific schedules (other than alimony payments) that have provision enforceability periods, so in essence the contract will then be final.

What are the requirements for a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement to be valid?

In order for this contract to be valid, both spouses must agree to the terms, sign their agreement, be of sound mind and make the agreement of their own free will. These same requirements apply to most contracts wherein two parties are involved.

The issue of “consideration” – wherein both parties must receive some value as the result of a contract – for a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement’s validity is generally not an issue as both parties will receive some part of the property in question.

When is a Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement effective?

Once signed and the divorce finalized, the Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement will then be effective, which means that alimony payments must be paid on schedule and the property division must be carried out swiftly. The Marital Settlement and Separation Agreement will generally lay out the methods by which these issues will be accomplished and sometimes even set deadlines for the same purpose.

Divorce: What is a Property Settlement Agreement

Amidst all the chaos present in a divorce, it can be easy to lose sight on the tangible. You’re worried about your children, your relationship with your spouse, and how the entire divorce will impact your life. This is normal, of course – but it doesn’t mean you should be willing to sacrifice your focus on fighting for what’s right.

Your lawyers will be able to help you with the legal side of things, but it also helps to keep yourself armed in the battle for property and money you’ve earned during your marriage. That’s why the property settlement agreement is such a big part of your overall divorce settlement – and it has potential to be exactly what does you the most damage or the most good throughout the entire ordeal. Let’s define this agreement and explain exactly what it does.

What Is It?

Essentially, a property settlement is just that – an agreement about how you and the other party have decided to dole out the property you’ve shared. In some cases, you’ll simply be awarded half of what was earned during the marriage and you may even be able to keep much of what you’ve earned before the marriage. But because each individual divorce settlement is different, what actually happens to your property will depend on a number of variables.

For example, if one of the spouses attended business school while the other worked to support both parties, it could be said that the working spouse has some entitlement to the property gained because of the other spouse’s increased earning potential through the years. This means that the issue of a property settlement agreement is not black and white – and may be subject to challenge under the courts.

Keeping these variables in mind will be integral to understanding what a property settlement for your own divorce will look like. But the important thing to take from this section is to remember that property is not always doled out after a divorce strictly based on who own what prior to the marriage.

Getting the Best Property Settlement Agreement Possible

There is one obvious key factor in ensuring that you get the best property settlement agreement possible: your relationship with the other party. If the divorce is a contentious one and a lot of property is on the line, it might be hard to strike a deal that will ensure you get the most you possibly can. On the other hand, if the separation is amicable and the other party doesn’t wish to stake a claim on much of the property acquired during the marriage, you stand a better chance.

Again, your overall success will depend on a number of factors including the quality of your lawyer, the circumstances surrounding the divorce, and the life situation you’ve established for yourself before the marriage and divorce. Remember, however, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: be thinking about a property settlement as soon as divorce proceedings begin.

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