Marital Settlement Agreements

Divorce proceedings can be especially taxing for individuals and families due to high court costs and the emotional stress that may result from the rulings. That's why couples seeking a divorce should first try to determine each individual's rights pertaining to divisions of property, assets, debt, as well as issues concerning child custody and spousal support ("alimony"). Couples have the ability and right to enter into contracts that fit their desires or needs during the divorce process.

One way to address these factors is by creating a marital settlement agreement.

What Is A Marital Settlement Agreement?

Also known as a "marital separation agreement," a "property settlement agreement," or a "divorce settlement agreement," a marital settlement agreement is a contract between the two divorcing parties that outlines the specifics of their legal separation.

It is created through mutual collaboration between the two individuals consulting with or without the guidance of an attorney and helps to limit uncertainty when it comes to the end results of the legal divorce.


Advantages of creating an airtight marital settlement include:

  • No surprise outcome from divorce proceedings
  • Court fees are often much lower
  • Your case likely won't take as long

What Kinds Of Topics Does It Cover?

In a divorce, marital settlement agreements ("MSA's") are well-constructed legal documents that should outline a wide range of topics so that there is as little uncertainty regarding the divorce outcomes as possible. Some topics that could be covered are (this list is not meant to be all inclusive):

  • Division of credit, debt, property, assets, valuables and household items
  • Child custody, support and visitation
  • Spousal support
  • Legal name changes
  • Health care resolution

Your particular situation may call for addressing other topics but most parties will find the resolution of these core factors needs to be fully determined in order for a judge to deem the agreement fair and thus grant the divorce according to these terms.

Questions About Marital Settlement Agreements?

If creating a marital settlement agreement sounds right for your situation, contact us online or call 650-473-0822 to begin the process.