What is a Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona?
When you’re filing for divorce, there are a lot of documents you must file with the court. You’ll have to file your complaint of course. You also need to file documents outlining your income and assets. Finally, you’ll need to submit a signed copy of something called a marital settlement agreement. Your divorce lawyer in Arizona is going to draft this document on your behalf.
The marital settlement agreement, or MSA, outlines all the terms of your divorce. It almost serves a divorce contract. It covers all aspects of your divorce, from child custody to who will pay for college. This is the most comprehensive document that gets file with the court. It can also take quite some time to come up with a final version. Your divorce lawyer in Arizona will go back and forth for weeks or even months to get it resolved. Here, we’ll discuss the things that are outlined in the MSA.
Your MSA Will Outline Custody and Child Support
Two of the most important elements in your MSA are child custody and child support. You and your spouse are going to have to come to some sort of agreement on custody. The MSA will include an entire section on custody. It will spell out the visitation schedule and indicate which parent will have the kids on certain holidays. The MSA will also address child support. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse can’t agree on a fair amount of child support, that’s fine. Your divorce lawyer in Arizona will simply plug your information into the child support guidelines calculator and put this amount in the MSA.
Your Settlement Agreement Will Indicate How Your Assets Will Be Divided
Another important component of the marital settlement agreement has to do with how you’ll divide your assets and debts. This is key. Once you sign this document, you’ll have to abide by its terms. Your attorney will describe who will gets the house and cars. For example, you may decide that your spouse will keep the house, but they must buy your portion from you. They can do this by offsetting alimony or some other asset. All this needs to be described in the MSA. This is why it takes so long to get a final copy approved by both sides. If one party disagrees about a single asset and how it will be divided, they can refuse to sign the MSA.
Alimony is One of the Important Terms of Your MSA
Many couples fight over the issue of alimony. One spouse is going to demand a ton of money in alimony while the other spouse refuses to pay it at all. Your divorce lawyer in Arizona is going to have to come to a decision with your spouse’s attorney. If they can’t come to an agreement, the judge will order you to go to mediation. This is where a group of neutral parties will examine your case and recommend how much alimony should be paid. Usually, this amount is somewhere between what you want to pay and what your spouse wants to receive.
Speak with a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Arizona
If you’ve decided you want to file for divorce, you should call a divorce lawyer in Arizona. It’s a good idea to see what issues you and your spouse can agree on before things get out of hand. This way, your attorney can work out the marital settlement agreement with relative ease. Call our office and set up a date and time to come in our office.