A Marital Settlement Agreement is a signed and notarized contractual agreement by and between the parties of a divorce action, which memorializes all of the terms and conditions of their mutually agreed upon settlement. Each agreed upon provision should be numbered and listed separately within the four corners of the agreement in clear and precise language so as not to leave any room for ambiguity as to the parties contractual intent.
A few examples of the above provisions that could be included in a MSA are:
- The Marital Domicile:
- Custody, Visitation, and Child Support:
- Health Insurance Coverage:
- Pensions, and Retirement Accounts:
- Marital Debts:
- Stocks and Investment Accounts:
As previously stated these are only a few examples of the provisions that could potentially be incorporated into the parties’ agreement, the length and detail of any agreement will ultimately depend on your specific circumstances.
In a well-drafted agreement there will also be provisions that the parties did not explicitly agree upon, but which are essential to fulfill the spirit and intent of their agreement. You should always review in detail with your attorney each and every provision within the document to be assured that it contains every term and condition that you and your spouse previously agreed to and, more importantly, that you also fully understand and are completely satisfied with any additional language before signing the agreement; don’t be afraid to ask questions! Once you have signed the agreement and it has been accepted by the court, you are then bound by most of the terms and conditions of the contact and cannot modify (change), the vast majority of the provisions within the agreement without mutual written consent between you and your spouse or former spouse. There are limited exceptions to the above written consent requirement with the most prevalent one being most of the issues directly concerning children.
Contact the Law Offices of John A. Russo for more informaiton regarding Marital Settlement Agreements.