MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

Divorce Settlements

When a couple gets a divorce, it is usually necessary to come to an agreement regarding who will get the joint property and who will be responsible for the joint debts. This is usually called a DIVORCE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT. In some states it will be called a MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT. The only time it would not be necessary is if the parties had no property, no debts, and no children.

A couple divorcing has two choices. They can decide between themselves how they will divide their property and handle issues such as child custody and support or they can hire two separate lawyers to argue to a judge what is best and let the judge decide. If you can work these matters out with your spouse, you will come out ahead both financially and emotionally. Marital property is usually split 50/50, and child support is determined by income. There is not much advantage to fighting over the issue unless one spouse is being dishonest and hiding income and assets.

There are a lot of legal issues involved in a divorce. For example, alimony is tax deductible to the payer and taxable to the recipient, while child support and property settlements are not. Rights to each otherís pension plans can be complicated. Therefore, if you and your spouse have any more than just minimal property, you should either do some research or consult an attorney. Some attorneys will give you a consultation for a fixed fee, for example, $75 or $150, and answer all of your questions about whether you have any rights to be concerned with or if your divorce can be simple.

Sample Divorce Settlement (agreement)

This Agreement is entered into on __________________________, 20________, by and between ____________________________________ (Husband) and ____________________________________ (Wife) whose address are as follows: ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ (Address) (Address) ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________

(City) (County) (State) (City) (County) (State)

The parties were married on ___________________________, ______.

As a result of disputes and serious differences, they have separated and are now living separate and apart, and wish to continue living permanently apart. They intend to settle by this agreement their marital matters, including child custody, child support, division of property and debts, and their rights to alimony. For these reasons and in consideration of the mutual promises contained in this agreement, Husband and Wife agree as follows:

1. LIVING SEPARATE. Husband and Wife will live separate and apart from each other, as if they were single and unmarried.

2. NO HARASSMENT OR INTERFERENCE. Neither party will in any manner harass, annoy or interfere with the other.

3. CHILD CUSTODY. The parties will share in parenting responsibilities; however, physical custody of the minor child(ren), ___________________________________________________________ shall be awarded to the Wife and the Husband shall have reasonable and liberal visitation rights. o The parties will share in parenting responsibilities; however, physical custody of the minor child(ren), _____________________________________________________________ shall be awarded to the Husband and the Wife shall have reasonable and liberal visitation rights. o Other: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

o The o Husband o Wife shall pay the sum of $ ________________ per ________________ as support and maintenance for the minor child(ren) in the physical custody of the other parent. o The o Husband o Wife shall maintain health insurance coverage for the minor child(ren), as long as such insurance is available at a reasonable group rate. o Other: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

5. DIVISION OF PROPERTY The Husband transfers to the Wife as her sole and separate property: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

o Continued on Additional Sheet. The Wife transfers to the Husband as his sole and separate property: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

o Continued on Additional Sheet.

6. DIVISION OF DEBTS The Husband shall pay, and will not at any time hold the Wife responsible for, the following debts: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

o Continued on Additional Sheet.

The Wife shall pay, and will not at any time hold the Husband responsible for, the following debts: ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

o Continued on Additional Sheet.

7. ALIMONY o The o Husband o Wife shall pay alimony in the sum of $ ________________ per ________________, for a period of _______________________, or until the o Husband o Wife dies or remarries, whichever occurs first. o Other:

8. EFFECT OF DIVORCE OR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE. In the event of a divorce or dissolution of marriage this Marital Settlement Agreement shall, if the court approves, be merged with, incorporated into, and become a part of any subsequent decree or judgment for divorce or dissolution of marriage.

9. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE. The parties have revealed to each other full financial information regarding their net worth, assets, holdings, income, and liabilities; not only by their discussions with each other, but also through copies of their current financial statements, copies of which are attached hereto as Exhibits A and B. Both parties acknowledge that they had sufficient time to review the otherís financial statement, are familiar with and understand the otherís financial statement, had any questions satisfactorily answered, and are satisfied that full and complete financial disclosure has been made by the other.

10. INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL. Each party has the right to representation by independent counsel. Each party fully understands his or her rights, and considers the terms of this agreement to be fair and reasonable.

11. EXECUTION OF NECESSARY INSTRUMENTS. The parties will execute and deliver any other instruments and documents that may be necessary and convenient to carry out all of the terms of this Agreement.

12. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This instrument, including any attached exhibits, constitutes the entire agreement of the parties. No representations or promises have been made except those that are set out in this Agreement. This Agreement may not be modified or terminated except in writing signed by the parties.

13. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of ____________________.

14. BINDING EFFECT. This Agreement shall be binding upon the parties, and upon their heirs, executors, personal representatives, administrators, successors, and assigns. ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________

(Husbandís signature)                                   (Wifeís signature)