3 Things To Include in a Marital Settlement Agreement

Going through a divorce is a trying time full of raw emotion and often the stress of determining how to separate and decide on marital settlement. For most people, filing for divorce means setting up a settlement agreement. If you are separating, you and your ex-spouse may need to include the following in your agreement.

marital settlement

1. The Division of Assets

The first thing a marital settlement agreement Tampa should do is identify and divide both assets and debts. Assets include houses, vehicles, recreational property, businesses, joint bank accounts, investment portfolios, and so on. Debt includes credit card debt, home loans, auto loans, and any other debt that was taken on as a married couple. The agreement should determine who gets which property, how cash and other assets will be divided, and who is responsible for which debts. Keep in mind that assets earned or debts owed by an individual before marriage will remain that individual’s responsibility.

2. A Parenting Plan

If the divorcing couple has children, the divorce or marital settlement needs to include a parenting plan that details custody and visitation arrangements. When creating this plan, it’s important to understand that physical custody is who the children live with while legal custody is who is responsible for medical and educational decisions for the children. Sole custody used to be the most common, but today, more parents are choosing split or shared custody options. A mediator can talk to the couple to determine which option will best meet the children’s needs.

Child support is typically an important part of this parenting plan on the marital settlement as well. Each state has its own guidelines regarding who needs to pay child support and in what amount. If one parent has sole custody, the other is typically responsible for providing some sort of support. Split or shared custody situations may not require support, depending on how the time is split and what the family feels is best.

3. Alimony Agreement

If one spouse earned much more than the other during a marriage and the couple was married for a specified number of years, then the individual who earns less may receive monthly alimony payments based on the fact of continuing the quality of life they were used to during the marriage. Alimony can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, depending on the situation. However, there are guidelines for when alimony payments should stop, such as if the recipient remarries or if the recipient has shown not to make an effort to support them self.

By making a marital settlement, it can avoid the insincere intentions of the prospective partner who turns out to have the intention to pay off the debts of his debtors through the wealth of the marriage. Sweet promises of potential partners before marriage are not necessarily true, and in practice problems often arise after the marriage takes place. The Marriage Agreement can protect you from unhealthy intentions like this, where these intentions will never be expressed by your prospective partner before.

Always work with a lawyer when setting up a divorce agreement or marital settlement. Doing so ensures that it is legal, contains all the information necessary, and will help you and your spouse to separate as easily as possible.