A marital settlement agreement (MSA) is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of a divorce settlement between two parties. This document covers a wide range of topics related to the separation, such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. Creating an MSA can be a complex process, but having a clear understanding of what it should include can help streamline the process.
Here`s an example of what a marital settlement agreement could look like:
1. Introduction and Terms
The MSA should begin with an introduction that outlines the parties involved, the purpose of the agreement, and the terms and conditions that both parties have agreed to. This section should also specify the date on which the MSA was signed and the court where it was filed.
2. Property Division
This section will outline how the couple`s assets and debts will be divided. It should include details such as who will get the marital home, how bank accounts will be divided, and how any outstanding debts will be apportioned. It should also specify how assets such as retirement plans, investments, and real estate will be divided.
3. Child Custody
This section will outline how the couple`s children will be cared for after the divorce. It should include details such as who will have primary custody of the children, how visitation schedules will be structured, and how major decisions regarding the children`s welfare will be made.
4. Child Support
This section will specify how child support payments will be calculated and who will be responsible for making those payments. It should also include details such as how medical expenses will be covered and how payments will be adjusted in the event of a change in circumstances.
5. Spousal Support
This section will outline how spousal support (also known as alimony) will be calculated and who will be responsible for making those payments. It should also include details such as how long the support will last and under what conditions it can be modified or terminated.
6. Other Provisions
This section can include any additional provisions that the couple has agreed to. For example, it could include details about how taxes will be filed, how life insurance policies will be handled, or how disputes will be resolved in the event of a breach of the MSA.
Overall, a well-written MSA should be comprehensive, leaving nothing to chance. It should provide clarity and certainty to both parties during a difficult and emotional time. Consulting with a lawyer experienced with marital settlement agreements can help ensure that the final document is legally sound and addresses all necessary issues.