Blog

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

 

The main goal of every divorce case is to reach an agreement with your spouse. A Marital Settlement Agreement, written and signed by both spouses, is a contract that defines the terms of their divorce. Depending on the issues in your case, the Marital Settlement Agreement must address a variety of issues.

First, custody and parenting time issues must be addressed if children are involved.  The parties must identify if they are going to share joint legal custody.  They must also designate the Parent of Primary Residence and the Parent of Alternate Residence. A parenting plan needs to be specific. This plan should include a regular schedule as well as a schedule for holidays, vacations and other school breaks. The Marital Settlement Agreement assures each parent’s continued right to access medical and health related records as well as school related records. Language is added to ensure each parent’s right to continue to be involved in the children’s school events and functions.  This includes extracurricular activities and sporting events. Any special circumstance or issue surrounding the children should be addressed in the Agreement.

Other issues relating to the children must also be in the Agreement 

  • Child support.
  • Contribution to camp, day care, and activities.
  • Private school tuition and costs.
  • Health insurance and unreimbursed health expenses.
  • College – selection of college, the allocation of college tuition payment, and college loans.
  • Life insurance – there must be enough insurance to secure both the child support and college contribution obligations.
  • Emancipation – spell out the definition of emancipation.  Any special needs of the child which would alter or delay emancipation must be considered.

Alimony

The Agreement must provide the amount to be paid and the duration of the payment, if alimony is involved in the settlement.  Circumstances of when alimony is to end or be reviewed must be addressed. Provisions regarding modifiability or non-modifiability are also important elements to consider.  The Agreement must include life insurance to secure the alimony.

Assets and debts

The Agreement also must identify each and every asset and debt and allocate them. This includes real estate, mortgages, lines of credit, home equity loans, timeshares, investment property, credit cards, retirement assets, employment provided assets, student loans as well as ownership interests in a business.

Tax issues

Tax issues such as dependency deductions, tax credits, rebates and other tax considerations must be addressed.

Other issues

Future participation in mediation in the event of a dispute or the involvement of a parent coordinator for custody and parenting time issues are standard clauses as well as an agreement that the breaching party pays for the non-breaching party’s counsel fees in the event of a breach and a resulting enforcement application to the Court.

The Marital Settlement Agreement is a very important document as it is the roadmap for your post-divorce life. Your Agreement must contain all issues that are crucial to you.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Which Co-Parenting Schedule Might Be Best for Your Child?

When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they will have decisions to make when it comes to choosing the right co-parenting schedule for their child or children. There are different types of child custody that may be right for each family, depending on the parents’ work schedules and the children’s needs. It is worth spending…

Read More
Blog
Is there a “Divorce” When You Were Never Married?

What Happens When an Unmarried Couple Splits Up? Couples break up on a daily basis in New Jersey and throughout the country. Because marriage is not only a way to express romantic love and commitment but a package of legal obligations and rights as well, it is typically far more complicated to break up as…

Read More
Blog
Co-Parenting Together After Divorce

Protecting Your Children Through Healthy Co-Parenting Divorce is almost always a challenging time for couples. When a relationship comes to an end, it can be an emotionally painful experience, accompanied by anger, hurt or regret. However, when divorcing couples share children, they have an additional factor to consider: How can you co-parent successfully and healthily…

Read More
Blog
Would “Bird-Nesting” Work for Our Family After the Divorce?

“Nesting” for Child Custody: Pros and Cons When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may be most concerned with how their decision will affect their children. Kids’ lives can easily be disrupted by their parents’ divorce, especially when the family home is sold and they must go back and forth between their parents for…

Read More
Blog
Coming to a Marital Settlement Agreement in New Jersey

Negotiating a Comprehensive Divorce Settlement Agreement When you decide to seek a divorce in New Jersey, the emotional implications may be staggering. However, ending a marriage is also a practical, legal and financial process with long-lasting consequences for both parties. Because the outcome of a divorce can linger over the long term, it can be…

Read More
Blog
How Can I Tell the Kids We’re Divorcing?

How to Tell Your Children That You Are Getting a Divorce When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may be most concerned about how their children will be affected. Even when both parents are able to work together to negotiate a divorce settlement, they may want to protect their children from emotional harm. By…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us