When and How to Get Your Marital Settlement Agreement
At this point, you are probably wondering what to do with all of this information and how is it used in the divorce process. As previously discussed, it is important to know what assets you and your spouse either own together or separately and their value. It is with this information that you can begin your negotiation process with your spouse and begin drafting a Property Settlement Agreement.
A Property Settlement Agreement lays out and explains how your property will be divided. If the court ultimately decides how your property will be divided, the property division will be explained in your decree, which is public record and can be read by anyone. If, however, you negotiate and draft a Property Settlement Agreement, you can incorporate this agreement by mere reference in your divorce decree. (This means that your decree will include language referring to your Property Settlement Agreement as the explanation of the property division).
Should you write your agreement or seek the advice of an attorney? It depends on the complexity of your situation. You may consider consulting an attorney so that you understand the family law statutes and how they apply to you. If there is an impasse between you and your partner, you do not need to go to court; you can mediate (settle) your dispute with a mediator, who is preferably an experienced family law attorney.
Property Settlement Agreement Highlights
- 1. ?Timing: You must file your petition and response and wait the 60 days before filing your agreement.
- 2. ?You should take time to negotiate your agreement after you have full and complete financial disclosure.
- 3. ?Never sign an agreement without disclosure.
- 4. ?Secure promises to pay. Make sure you understand creditor rights, even if one spouse agrees to pay community debt.
- 5. ?Consider taxes for the year you are in and any part of the year you are married.
- 6. ?It must be signed and in writing to be valid, only another written document can revoke it.
- 7. ?Child support and custody are always modifiable.
- 8. ?It is best if your signatures are notarized. Keep the original(s) in a safe place.
- 9. ?Make decisions with a clear head after knowing the law and having full disclosure.