Settlement agreements in regards to divorce are legally binding contracts between the two spouses that outline the rights to what property between the two parties. This not only includes physical property acquired throughout the marriage, but also covers child custody and retirement savings plans such as 401k’s and IRA accounts.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, settlement agreements can go by many different names such as:
- – Divorce Settlement Agreement
- – Mediated Separation Agreement
- – Property Settlement Agreement
- – Marital Settlement Agreement
Essentially, all the variations mean the same thing, more or less.
When can I file for a settlement agreement?
Ex-spouses can file for a settlement agreement before or after they decided to file for divorce. It is highly recommended, however, that both parties come to an agreement before the court hearing as to avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth between the courts and the separating parties.
What happens if both parties cannot come to agreement?
If both parties fail to come to a mutual agreement on a particular asset, the final result can vary depending on what state you live in.
Both Virginia and Maryland are what are called “equitable distribution” state which means that if the ex-spouses can’t come to terms on settlement, the state courts will have the ultimate say in what is fair and who the asset will be distributed to.
Can my spouse and I write our own settlement agreement?
Yes, you absolutely can write your own settlement agreement if you feel that is the best way to settle amongst the two of you, however, we would advise against this. The reason we advise against writing your own settlement agreement is due to saving costs.
The divorce process is expensive as it is. If you and your spouse were to write your own agreement but then disagree upon the agreement at a later time, it could end up costing you even more money to have the proper revisions made.
If you are going through a divorce in Annandale, VA, don’t go at it alone. Consider hiring one of the experienced family law attorneys at Masterman Krogmann to get the desired outcome from your divorce settlement.