What is an agreement in a divorce?
A Marital Settlement Agreement is an enforced legal document that details the distribution of property between two spouses. The Agreement also addresses spousal support if necessary. If children are involved, the agreement also details the custody and placement arrangement. Before finalizing the Marital Settlement Agreement, both parties must reach a mutual agreement on all the raised issues.
At the final hearing, the court utilizes the marital settlement agreement as a foundation for how the parties will divide their property, assets, and debts. Once filed, the document provides indemnity for each party against future debts the other may incur.
In rare instances, the court may use discretion to not agree with the terms of the agreement if it finds that the terms unfairly distribute the marital estate or if the terms will cause one spouse to rely on public assistance for income. In this instance, the court will require the parties to modify the agreement. Generally, the courts approve any settlement if both parties are fully aware of the terms.
A Marital Settlement Agreement also allows the wife to restore her maiden name should she choose to do so. Mothers sometimes keep their married names to retain the same last name as their children. If a woman chooses to change her last name, she will need to change her social security card, driver’s license, and all other personal information after the divorce is final.
If the custody of pets is being contested, the final agreement will need to resolve this dispute also.
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