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Simplified Dissolutions: 6 Key Benefits of Signing a Marital Settlement Agreement

| Feb 21, 2017 | Firm News

If you and your spouse decide to divorce in Florida, you have the option of drafting and signing a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), which is a voluntary contract detailing the terms and conditions of your divorce settlement. It covers important separation areas such as:

  • Division of marital assets and debts
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

Marital Settlement Agreements are not a solution for every Florida divorce, but signing one has six key benefits that can make the entire process quicker and more amicable if you and your spouse are willing to work together to make it happen.

  • Simplified Marriage Dissolution: In Florida, you have the option of either a regular or simplified dissolution of your marriage. MSAs help you qualify for the simplified version, which is faster and more cost-effective than traditional divorce.
  • More Control Over Divorce Settlement: Unlike regular divorce, which can involve a judge making important decisions for you, the MSA lets you and your spouse control the divorce settlement. This way, you have a much better chance of an agreement that you are both happy with.
  • Helps Avoid Litigation: When you sign an MSA, you can avoid the expensive, time-consuming, and often contentious litigation route. If you and your spouse can agree to all terms and sign a document to that effect, there is no need to litigate your divorce.
  • Limits Litigation: If you and your spouse cannot agree on all aspects of your divorce settlement, you can sign a partial MSA that covers all the terms you do agree on. Anything else will have to be litigated, but litigation will be confined to those conditions alone.
  • Enables an Amicable Split: Instead of fighting over marital assets and post-divorce responsibilities in court, you and your spouse will meet, discuss your needs and concerns, and come to a fair divorce settlement. Even if you disagree on some matters, resolving them via an MSA is less contentious than litigation.
  • Creates a Legally Binding Contract: MSAs are legally binding and enforceable, requiring both you and your spouse to honor all provisions outlined in the agreement. If either of you wants to change the terms of the MSA, you must obtain a legal modification.

Once the MSA is signed, you must submit it to the court along with the divorce petition. Provided there is no litigation required on unresolved terms, the divorce is regarded as settled, and all that remains is for you and your spouse to attend the hearing where you will be awarded a final judgement of divorce.

If you are planning to divorce in Florida and want to simplify the process by using a Marital Settlement Agreement, call Rotella & Hernandez today at (786) 571-8472 for our Miami office, or (561) 571-0872 for our West Palm Beach office. We will assist you in drafting and formalizing an MSA that gives both of you the resources you need to face the future.