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Negotiate Divorce Settlement With Your Spouse

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Negotiate Divorce Settlement With Your Spouse

From the moment you decide to file for a divorce, or the moment your spouse serves you with divorce papers, you begin a journey that will be full of emotional and legal challenges. From a legal standpoint, your work will not be complete until you have negotiated an official divorce settlement. Known as a Marital Settlement Agreement or Marital Separation Agreement (MSA) in North Carolina, this document memorializes any terms you and your spouse have reached regarding subjects such as property division, alimony, child support, and child custody.

The process of negotiating an MSA with your spouse will differ according to the unique circumstances of your relationship. An experienced North Carolina divorce attorney can help you understand what steps you should take to protect yourself, your interests, and your future.

How Does a Marital Settlement Agreement Work?

An MSA is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms of your divorce. It covers essential issues such as:

  • Property Division – This involves dividing marital assets and debts between you and your spouse. Marital property may include your home, vehicles, investments, bank and retirement accounts, and other assets you have acquired during the marriage.
  • Alimony – Also known as spousal support, alimony is a payment one spouse makes to the other to help maintain their standard of living after the divorce.
  • Child Support – If you have children, the MSA will outline each parent’s financial responsibilities for their care. This includes regular child support payments, which are typically based on each parent’s income and the amount of time the children spend with them.
  • Child Custody – The MSA will also address the custody arrangements for your children. Physical custody determines where the children will live. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions about their children’s upbringing, such as their education, healthcare, and religious practices.

Once you and your spouse have agreed on these terms and signed the document, it is submitted to the court for approval. If the court finds the agreement fair and reasonable, it will be incorporated into your final divorce decree, making it enforceable by law.

Can My Spouse and I Write Our Own Agreement?

While it is possible for you and your spouse to write your own MSA, it is not recommended. Divorce law can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced attorney, you may overlook important details or agree to terms that are not in your best interest. An attorney can help you understand your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and ensure that your agreement is legally sound and enforceable.

What If I Do Not Agree to My Spouse’s Proposed MSA?

If your spouse presents you with a proposed MSA that you do not agree with, you should not sign it. You have the right to negotiate the terms. This is why having an experienced divorce attorney can be invaluable. Your attorney can review the proposed agreement, identify areas of concern, and work with your spouse’s attorney to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both parties. If an agreement cannot be reached, your case may need to go to trial, where a judge will decide the terms of your divorce.

Is It Possible to Settle Everything Before Going to Court?

Negotiate Divorce Settlement With Your SpouseIt is possible to settle all aspects of your divorce before going to court. In fact, most divorce cases are settled out of court through negotiation or mediation. Doing so can save you time, money, and the stress of a lengthy court battle. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on all issues, you may need to go to court to resolve any remaining disputes. Whether or not your case requires you to appear before a judge, having a skilled attorney by your side can help you achieve the best possible outcome. 

Contact an Experienced North Carolina Divorce Attorney Today

Many people find negotiating a divorce agreement one of the most challenging things they ever do. When emotions are running high, it can be easy to make mistakes if you do not have the assistance and support of a qualified legal professional.

The seasoned legal team at Marshall & Taylor PLLC understands the delicate nature of the challenges you are facing during your divorce. Our compassionate and skillful lawyers will work to ensure you recognize your rights and options every step of the way. With us on your side, you can maximize your chances of achieving the favorable result you deserve. Call us today at (919) 833-1040 or contact us via our online form for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.