Divorce Settlement Agreement Template
A divorce settlement agreement is an important legal document that memorializes all agreements between married couples. A divorce settlement agreement specifies the division of assets, property, debts, liabilities, and arrangements for child visitation, custody, child and spousal support. This divorce settlement agreement template includes:
- A universal and customizable divorce settlement agreement that includes space to detail various provisions such as child support, spousal support, division of property, and much more.
- Optional notary acknowledgment page if required under state law.
- Download your divorce settlement agreement template in just minutes!
What is a Divorce Settlement Agreement? A divorce settlement agreement outlines the agreements between a couple during the divorce process. It is vital that all of the agreed-upon terms following the divorce are unambiguous to avoid costly legal disputes in the future. Other names for a divorce settlement agreement include:
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Divorce Agreement
- Divorce Papers
- Final Decree of Divorce
There is a difference between a divorce settlement agreement and separation agreement. A separation agreement is utilized when a couple is still legally married but are no longer involved in a marital relationship. They either intend to file divorce proceedings in the future, remain permanently separated, or reconcile. A divorce agreement is when a couple has officially received a decree of divorce and divorce judgment. A separation agreement is appropriate for legally married couples and may not be proper or enforceable for common-law spouses. Why Is a Divorce Settlement Agreement Necessary? A divorce settlement agreement is when the couple has already agreed to all of the issues related to the division of property, custody, and support. A divorce settlement agreement is typically presented to a judge in order to show the official agreement. The judge can make any modifications as he or she sees fit. If the parties cannot agree to certain terms of a divorce, a judge may hear the case and decide or them relying on factors such as income, job security, and the best interests of the parties involved. The Essential Components of a Divorce Settlement Agreement The elements of a divorce settlement agreement depend on quite a few factors. If the couple does not have children of the marriage or the children are over the age of majority, a custody arrangement or support agreement, such provision is not necessary. On the other hand, depending on each party’s assets, debts, liabilities, and property, the divorce settlement agreement can either be straight forward or incredibly detailed if there are more essential particulars related to assets, debts, obligations, property, etc. The basic elements of a divorce settlement agreement include:
- The Parties – Both spouses should be named. The background information related to the marriage also includes where and when the couple was married.
- Child Support, Custody, and Visitation Rights – The minor or dependent children of the marriage should be identified in the divorce settlement agreement. Information such as their full legal name, gender, and date of birth is also necessary to include in the agreement. Details of custody, visitation, and child support obligations and schedules should also be detailed in the agreement.
- Spousal Support – In some cases, some form of spousal support or alimony may be provided to a spouse. This generally depends on how long the couple has been married—the purpose of spousal support is to ensure the other spouse can adequately maintain an accustomed financial way of life. The amount of spousal support may also hinge on each party’s income, health, age, contributions to the marriage, and sacrifices made by either party during the marriage.
- Property Division – The parties should agree on the division of any real or personal property owned by the parties at the time of their marriage and subsequently obtained separately or together. If the property has already been divided and agreed to such agreement needs to be included in the final version of the divorce settlement agreement.
- Debts and Obligations – Any debts or financial obligations acquired by the parties should be sorted out and detailed in the divorce settlement agreement.
What Are Some Common Mistakes Found in Divorce Settlement Agreements? The goal of a divorce settlement agreement is to be enforceable. To be enforceable, the agreement should be reasonable and fair. It must also be unambiguous and executed by both parties. While hiring a family law attorney is not entirely necessary, it is important to seek legal counsel while crafting a divorce settlement agreement. If one spouse is given a drafted divorce settlement agreement by the other party, it is wise to meet with an experienced attorney to review and explain the agreement before signing it. Each state has different requirements for divorce settlement agreements. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure your divorce settlement agreement is enforceable. How to Get Your Divorce Settlement Agreement Signed Creating an enforceable divorce settlement agreement is critical. It must be unambiguous, reasonable, and in the best interest of all parties involved. Electronic signatures are convenient and legally binding. It is always a good idea to reach out to an attorney when drafting and executing a divorce settlement agreement. Our divorce settlement agreement template is easy to follow and user friendly. It will help you get the ball rolling to tailoring your own divorce settlement agreement. Resources The American Bar Association (ABA) can help point you in the right direction when drafting a divorce settlement agreement. The ABA can also help you locate a family law attorney in your state to consult with while drafting or reviewing a divorce settlement agreement.
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