A More Peaceful Path Forward In Divorce
If you and your spouse wish to dissolve your marriage, a marital settlement agreement can help you do so amicably and ensure that your divorce is equitable. At Smith Family Law, APC, our San Diego marital settlement agreement lawyers have the necessary experience to ensure that your rights and assets remain protected as you navigate your divorce.
What You Need To Know About A Marital Settlement
A marital settlement agreement is a legally binding contract signed by two spouses. Spouses can use a marital settlement agreement to:
- Determine how they wish to distribute marital assets and liabilities
- Decide how to handle child custody and support
- Ascertain what would constitute an equitable spousal support arrangement, if alimony is necessary
If you and your spouse agree on terms for your divorce and wish to save time, stress, and money by filing for an uncontested divorce, a marital settlement agreement can help ensure that your divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible.
How Does A Marital Settlement Agreement Work?
When one party (the petitioner) files for divorce, they can attach the marital settlement agreement to their divorce petition and ask the court to merge or incorporate the terms of the agreement into the final divorce decree.
Should the other party (the respondent) waive their right to respond or indicate they consent to the terms set forth in the agreement, the court will merge or incorporate those terms into the divorce decree as a separate contract.
If the agreement is merged into the divorce decree, it becomes a legally binding contract between the spouses. Should one spouse fail to uphold their end of the agreement, the other can sue them to enforce the terms of the agreement.
It’s important to note that merging the agreement into the divorce decree allows it to remain a separate contract. If you want the divorce decree and agreement to be part of the same court order, you must instead ask the court to incorporate the agreement into the divorce decree.
The court will evaluate your marital settlement agreement to ensure it’s fair to both parties. If the court decides your marital settlement agreement is unfair to one party, it may choose not to incorporate or merge the agreement into the decree.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both merging or incorporating the agreement into the decree. You should consult your attorney to determine what’s best for you.
Speak To An Attorney About Your Settlement
Our team of attorneys is here to assist you throughout the divorce and settlement process. To learn more, give us a call at (619) 431-3131 or schedule a free initial video or phone consultation.