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What is a marital settlement agreement in a divorce?

A marital settlement agreement spells out the terms of the divorce and the relationship between the two spouses after the divorce. These agreements usually cover property division, child custody, child plans, debt division, spousal support and any other relevant issues related to the divorce.

While it is not required, filing a marital settlement agreement does have advantages:
  • Lays out all of the agreements in writing, limiting ambiguities
  • The spouses may not have to go to court. The judge might honor the written agreement if it's written correctly and covers all material aspects of the divorce
  • Proves to the court that major issues were considered, and the case will move more quickly though the system
Marital settlement agreements can be entered into at any time before the final judgment. They are typically filed with the final judgment.