When drafting a divorce agreement template, you might have been looking at other examples of marriage settlement agreements for some ideas about how to write this document. The divorce settlement agreement that you draft will help to ensure that your divorce contract is dissolved and a marital settlement agreement template is put in place.
There are many sample divorce agreement documents out there, but you need to be sure that you understand which items on these divorce agreement forms are the most critical to include in your divorce agreement. This document will govern how you and your former spouse split up possessions, time with children, and many other details related to the end of your marriage. You want to be sure that your divorce agreement template is correct for many reasons.
Table of Contents
- 1 Divorce Agreement Templates
- 2 What is a marital settlement agreement?
- 3 Divorce Settlement Agreements
- 4 How do I write a marital settlement agreement?
- 5 Divorce Agreement Samples
- 6 Is a marital settlement agreement the same as a divorce decree?
- 7 Is a marital settlement agreement binding?
- 8 Divorce Contracts
- 9 Divorce Settlements Need to be Detailed and Carefully Written
Divorce Agreement Templates
What is a marital settlement agreement?
A divorce agreement template is used to help guide the separation of assets and other items during a divorce. A marital settlement will set the terms and requirements for both spouses who are involved in the divorce process. This means that responsibilities will be outlined in this document, as well as financial duties and the splitting up of assets.
If you have a prenup in place, the various details related to your divorce agreement might already be well-documented. The prenup that you signed will likely outline almost all of the same information and help guide the writing of an effective and specific marital settlement agreement. A lawyer will need to be involved in this process in most states, but you can start the process of dealing with your divorce by drafting a divorce agreement template to start the ball rolling.
This document goes by some other names. All of these names are also considered correct for this agreement, and they do not impact the legality of the document.
- Divorce Settlement Agreement
- Divorce Agreement
- Divorce Settlement
- Divorce Document
- Divorce Contract
- Marriage Settlement Agreement
- Proposed Divorce Decree
Some of these terms are used in different states rather than divorce agreements. You can use any of these names for your marital settlement documents without any worries about this being an incorrect document for your divorce process.
Divorce Settlement Agreements
How do I write a marital settlement agreement?
There is some key information that needs to be in all divorce agreement templates. You will need to be sure that you include all of these details if you want your marital settlement process to be smooth and easy to complete. The more assets and items that you have to split up and separate during a divorce, the more important the marital settlement agreement.
Despite the complexity of this kind of document, it is worth taking the time to draft a proper divorce agreement template. Your entire divorce process will be much easier if you have a divorce agreement in place.
You will need to include these details in your divorce agreement template:
- Date of Agreement: The date that the agreement goes into effect needs to be one of the first things in the document. This is a critical date for the document, and it can impact the divorce process as well. Make sure that the date is right and entered clearly at the top of the document.
- Spouse’s Names: You and your soon-to-be former spouse will need to be indicated on the divorce agreement by your full legal names. Make sure that you also include addresses for both of you and phone numbers. The contact information that is included in your divorce agreement is essential, and it also makes sure that your document will hold up in court if there is a challenge to it. When legal documents do not use the full legal name of the parties involved, they can often be invalidated.
- Date of Marriage and Location: The date of your marriage and the location of the marriage need to be included in this part of the divorce agreement. You will want to name the church as well as the state and the city here for complete information. This can impact connecting your marriage documents with your divorce documentation down the road.
- Date of the Marriage End: If you know what your divorce date was or will be, you can indicate this information here. You might not have that information yet, but if you do, it should be included in your divorce agreement template.
- Child Support and Custody: While your parenting plan will be determined with the help of a judge and your lawyer, you will still need to indicate in this part of the document that you expect to pay child support or that you believe that your spouse will need to pay child support. If you are not sure how the custodial arrangements will be handled yet, you can make this part more general.
This section of the agreement could be subject to change when divorces are not final, so you might need to be careful about how you state the information that is included in this section. Children are not property, so they cannot be divided like a business or other assets.
- Spousal Support and Terms: Rather like child support, you might not be sure of the details of this part of your divorce settlement. This is one of the parts of the divorce process that can be hard to calculate and determine without the help of a legal professional. You do not want to sign a document that promises spousal support you do not have to pay, so you might want to hold off on this part of the document or simply not include it if you are not sure about it.
- Life and Health Insurance: Your life insurance will likely be assigned new beneficiaries after your divorce is final, but if this is not the case, you need to state that your former spouse will still get money when you die. You will also need to indicate what you and your spouse have agreed upon as far as health insurance for the family after the divorce. There are some extended coverage benefits for children and spouses who do not work, but they are expensive. You might want to agree to pay for these benefits or indicate another arrangement that has been made between you and your spouse with regard to health insurance.
- Assets and Property: For those with a prenup in place, there might be very little discussion in this section of the document. Prenuptial agreements are usually very thorough in indicating which assets are not shared assets and cannot be included in the divorce settlement. All other assets will need to be named, and there will need to be a decision made about how they will be split up, sold off, or transferred to the other spouse.
This is the most time-consuming and often the most contentious part of the divorce agreement process. Make sure that you and your spouse seek the help of lawyers if you simply cannot agree on this part of the divorce agreement process. This section can include retirement benefits and other investment assets that will need to be altered or that might remain the same.
- Debts and Liability: If you own shared property, you will need to make sure that the change of ownership and transfer of responsibility for these items is outlined in this part of the document. Shared debts can be very contentious in divorce proceedings, and you will want to be sure that you are not going to have to struggle with your spouse over things that you do not want to keep or pay for.
Often, selling items that are jointly owned is the best way to amicably solve this kind of dispute and make sure that everyone comes out of the divorce in good shape. This is another place where a lawyer can be a big help since this is often a part of the divorce process that causes a lot of strife.
- Name Changes: If either party is planning to change their name after the divorce is final, this needs to be indicated in this part of the document. This can matter later when trying to sort out other paperwork without this new name on it.
- Disclosures: This section is not always needed, but if there are special terms or legal disclosures that might impact the divorce settlement, they need to be included here. Special items like shared time with a pet or small requests like a favorite piece of furniture or clothing might even be included here.
- Signatures and Dates: Both you and your spouse will need to sign and date the divorce agreement for it to be legally binding. This will need to be notarized or handled by the courts to be completely binding and to be considered a final divorce settlement. Even if you start your divorce settlement agreement documents on your own, you will need a legal expert to finalize the settlement and make the document governing it legally valid.
Divorce Agreement Samples
Is a marital settlement agreement the same as a divorce decree?
This document is not the same as a divorce decree. The two documents go hand-in-hand during the divorce process, but your divorce agreement template is not the document that finalizes your divorce. The marital settlement agreement outlines who gets what and who has which responsibilities after the divorce is finalized.
A judge will have to write a divorce decree and finalize the dissolution of your marriage for it to be legally over. If you have not gotten a divorce decree, you cannot marry another person until you have this document in hand. Many people get distracted by the details of the marital settlement process and forget that a divorce decree is its own unique legal document.
Is a marital settlement agreement binding?
While this document is not always required to finalize a divorce, it is considered legally binding once it has been signed. This is one of the stages of the divorce process that usually leads to someone securing a lawyer. No one should sign anything as important as a marital settlement agreement without legal advice about the contents of the settlement. Negotiation is quite common in divorces, and the first version of your divorce agreement template might be rejected by your spouse until adjustments are made.
There are few divorces that are handled without at least some legal oversight by an expert, so you should be sure that you get some help writing your divorce agreement template if you think that you might forget something important. You need to make sure that you are looking for the most equitable resolution to the divorce process, and splitting up assets equally in the divorce agreement template is often the best way to go.
Your lawyer can help you create an attractive and fair divorce agreement template that your spouse will likely want to sign. Keeping your divorce out of the courts will save you lots of money and time and make the process of obtaining your divorce much easier. There are some instances where there really is no need for a divorce agreement template because one party has no assets involved in the marriage that they want to keep or gain access to. In all other cases, the divorce agreement template will help guide the process of your divorce toward completion much more efficiently.
Divorce Settlements Need to be Detailed and Carefully Written
When going through a divorce, many people want to just take what they think is theirs and go. The process of dissolving a marriage can be complex, and you need to be sure that you and your former spouse have the right documentation in place to govern your split. From the assumption of debts to splitting up assets and having time with children, your divorce agreement template will need to include many kinds of information.
Make sure that you are writing a correct and complete divorce agreement so that you and your spouse can go your separate ways with less strife.