Erie Marital Settlement Agreements Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, divorces are most often resolved through marital settlement agreements. This consists of an agreed upon division of assets, property and interests in pensions among other marital property.
Marital Settlement Agreements can resolve all issues of the marriage
A marital separation agreement is a written agreement dividing property and resolving problems such as alimony and custody. A marital separation agreement may be prepared before or after you have filed for divorce. If you have no marital property, no marital debts, and no children, you can get a no-fault divorce.
A marital separation agreement is used to provide the rules for governing the relationship you will have with your children and how your assets will be separated. For obvious reasons, you would want to have the marital separation agreement in writing as opposed to simply discussing what you agree will happen. It will save you a lot of headaches later and will make the divorce proceedings much easier and less expensive. The agreement does not have to be filed with the court in order for it to take effect.
The key determination is whether or not the agreement is to survive the judgment of divorce as a separate agreement or whether it is incorporated into the judgment of divorce which will allow the court to modify it later as if it were a court order. Whether or not the agreement is merged with the judgment of divorce will not affect custody and visitation of your children because the court is allowed to modify this until the children reach the age of 18.
The court will utilize the best interest of the child if it needs to modify the rules you have established. In addition, the court will not modify the distribution of assets since that is usually done around the time of the divorce and the court will not modify those terms after fact.
The decision to have a separate agreement or have the judgment of divorce incorporate the agreement is affected by a few main areas. These include the spousal support, maintenance or alimony. It also will be important for determining future changes to child support.
A marital settlement agreement is best prepared with the advice of legal counsel as this agreement will affect all of your rights and responsibilities resulting from the marriage for many years. Although the agreement can be amended if both spouses agree to any changes, it is best to get the agreement correct from the beginning so that there is less friction in your post-divorce life.
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