Divorces end in two ways: 1. the parties reach an agreement; or 2. the Court decides the terms of the divorce if the parties cannot agree on pending issues. A Marital Settlement Agreement (also referred to as “MSA”) is a contract between divorcing spouses that resolves some or all of the issues in the divorce action.
Divorcing spouses who have assets, liabilities, and/or minor kids will need to either enter an MSA resolving all the issues or have those issues decided by the Court. Deciding on your own terms of the divorce has its advantages. It puts the spouses in control of how they will decide the issues unique to every marriage.
Parties can execute a partial agreement when they agree to only some of the issues. Partial agreements only include the issues that have been agreed upon by the parties. All other issues will be resolved at trial by the Judge.
When the divorcing spouses have minor children in common, a parenting plan must be executed . This plan is usually included in the MSA. A parenting plan includes everything having to do with the minor children. This includes how costs for extracurricular activities would be split; which days the kids will spend with each parent; and insurance coverage for the kids.
Parents can work together to create a schedule that works well for their kids and their own schedules. Assuming that the judge finds the agreement is in the child’s best interest, the parenting plan will become a court order. If you cannot agree on a parenting schedule, the judge assigned to your case will make a decision after a court hearing.
Just like MSAs, you and your ex can also present a partial agreement that includes points you agree on. The Court will decide the issues concerning the kids that are not resolved.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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