A Property Settlement Agreement is also known as a Marital Settlement Agreements or a Legal Separation Agreement and it is a special kind of contract that resolves all of the issues surrounding the parties’ marriage. But Property Settlement Agreements resolve much more than just the division of the parties’ property because this contract sets forth all the rights and obligations of each party regarding their divorce.
The Property Settlement Agreement can be prepared and signed by the parties either before the filing of the divorce complaint or after. If the Property Settlement Agreement is signed prior to the filing of the divorce complaint, the parties’ can save a significant amount of money on attorney’s fees because it will not be necessary to go through the gauntlet of the discovery phase of the divorce, motion practice, early settlement panels and, of course, trial. Once the Property Settlement Agreement is signed, the parties’ counsel can advise the court that the case is settled and schedule the matter for an uncontested hearing.
Property Settlement Agreements are comprehensive contracts that resolve all of the issues between the parties. As such, they are contracts that significantly affect the rest of the parties’ lives and the lives of their children. Therefore, these special kinds of contracts must be negotiated carefully, intelligently and correctly.
The issues resolved in Property Settlement Agreements are as follows:
- Sale of Marital Home
- Equitable Distribution of Assets
- Equitable Distribution of Debts
- Alimony or the Permanent Waiver of Alimony
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Parenting Time or Visitation
- Health Insurance
- Division of Pension Plan Benefits
- Life Insurance
- Tax Issues
- College Tuition and associated expenses
- Emancipation of Children
- Procedure to resolve future disputes
It is necessary and important to have a clear and full understanding of the client’s marital property and all of the issues affecting the parties and their children prior to drafting the Property Settlement Agreement because it establishes each party’s rights and responsibilities. I individually work with my client, as well with forensic accountants, career rehabilitation experts, and psychologists, to make certain that all of the issues affecting my client in his or her divorce are correctly addressed.