Attorney Review and Explanation of Your Marital Settlement Agreement, Parenting Plan And/or Final Judgment

Has your spouse filed for divorce and proposed a marital settlement agreement or a parenting plan? These agreements can be confusing and tricky.

Schedule an appointment with an attorney to review these documents to ensure they say what you think they say and mean what you think they mean.


What Is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

A marital settlement agreement (MSA) in Florida is a legally binding document outlining the terms of a divorce between spouses. It covers various aspects of the dissolution of marriage, ensuring that both parties agree on critical issues without the need for a court decision on each matter.

Here are the key components typically included in a marital settlement agreement in Florida:

  1. Division of Assets and Liabilities: Specifies how the couple’s property, including real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property, will be divided. It also outlines the responsibility for any debts and liabilities.
  2. Alimony (Spousal Support): Details any spousal support arrangements, including the amount, duration, and conditions for alimony payments.
  3. Child Custody and Visitation: Establishes the custody arrangement for any minor children, including physical and legal custody, as well as visitation schedules.
  4. Child Support: Specifies the amount of child support to be paid, the payment schedule, and any related financial responsibilities, such as health insurance and educational expenses.
  5. Parenting Plan: Includes a detailed parenting planthat outlines the responsibilities and expectations for each parent in raising their children, including decision-making authority, communication, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  6. Retirement Accounts: Addresses the division of retirement accounts, pensions, and other long-term financial assets.
  7. Taxes: Discusses tax considerations and responsibilities, such as the claiming of dependents, filing status, and division of tax liabilities or refunds.

The MSA is created through negotiation between the spouses, often with the assistance of their attorneys or a mediator. Once both parties agree to the terms, the agreement is signed and submitted to the court for approval.

The judge will review the MSA to ensure it is fair and reasonable, and if approved, it becomes part of the final divorce decree. This means that the terms outlined in the MSA are legally enforceable.

Get Peace of Mind Before Signing

During a divorce, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the legal mumbo jumbo and the dozens of documents you need to sign.

Let’s make sure you understand exactly what’s going on.

In a marital settlement agreement review, one of our attorneys will review all of your documents before you send them to the court. They’ll also explain everything to you in detail so you feel completely comfortable with the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Furthermore, our attorneys will suggest any recommended revisions to ensure both parties are supported, protected, and treated appropriately. They may also perform additional legal research or analysis to ensure everything is above board.

All of this aims to support your divorce, making it as efficient, fair, and painless as possible.

Divorce Mediation and Negotiation

You and your soon-to-be-ex might think you’ll agree on everything and decide to write your agreement on your own (without an attorney) – but that’s not always a good idea.

There are a couple of risks with this approach. First of all, you could make mistakes that impact your long-term rights. Secondly, your MSA might not be totally clear on how assets are divided or what happens if someone doesn’t comply, resulting in messes and further litigation.

We highly recommend mediation to ensure you and your future-ex partner fully agree on the terms of your divorce. This is the best way to ensure peaceful, fair negotiations prior to your marital settlement agreement review.

If you’re interested in mediation, we encourage you to explore our hour-by-hour divorce mediation services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is a marital settlement agreement the same as a divorce?

No, a marital settlement agreement is not the same as a divorce. This document serves as a critical part of the divorce process, but the divorce itself is the legal termination of the marriage by a court.

Q2. What is the benefit of having a settlement agreement before divorce?

Having a settlement agreement before divorce offers several benefits. Most notably, it reduces conflict and stress by allowing both parties to negotiate and agree on terms amicably, rather than leaving decisions to the court. It can also expedite the divorce process, saving time and legal expenses by avoiding lengthy court battles.

Additionally, an MSA provides greater control and flexibility for both spouses to tailor the agreement to their specific needs and circumstances, fostering a sense of fairness and mutual satisfaction. This proactive approach also ensures a clearer understanding of financial and parental responsibilities post-divorce, especially if you work with a marital settlement agreement attorney.

Q3. Do I need a lawyer to prepare my marital settlement agreement in Florida?

It’s technically not legally required to have a lawyer prepare your MSA, but it is highly recommended.

Your marital settlement agreement attorney will ensure the agreement is legally sound and that it fully protects your rights and interests. They’ll also help you understand the implications of the terms, address any unique complexities your divorce might have, and facilitate a smoother negotiation process between the two parties.

If you opt not to seek legal guidance, you risk overlooking critical details or making mistakes that could have long-term negative consequences – and a slower, more painful divorce process.

Q4. Can I modify a marital settlement agreement in Florida?

Yes, you can modify a marital settlement agreement in Florida, but it typically requires the agreement of both parties and court approval.

To modify the MSA, you and your ex-spouse need to negotiate the changes and draft an amendment to the original agreement, likely with the help of a marital settlement agreement attorney.

Once both of you agree to the modifications, you must submit the amended agreement to the court. The court will review the proposed changes to ensure they are fair and in the best interests of any children involved.

Q5. How much does a marital settlement agreement review cost?

The cost to review an MSA can vary widely depending on the complexity of the agreement and the rates charged by the attorney.

Our standard rate is $500 to review a marital settlement agreement in Florida. However, you may require additional mediation and other services to come to an agreement with the other party, which can raise your total costs.

Reach out to our team to discuss the full extent of our pricing.

Schedule a Marital Settlement Agreement Review

Divorce is rarely easy, but with the right legal partner, it can be bearable. Our marital settlement agreement attorneys are experienced in reviewing all the relevant documents to ensure your rights are recognized and protected.