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Marital Settlement Agreement


San Diego Divorce Lawyers
Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA)

Many people for many reasons want to complete a California divorce but do not want to engage in years of litigation and its accompanying nastiness, stress and expense.  Therefore, those spouses who would like to work out their dissolution together generally need to find some process that allows them to do so.

Regardless of how they get to the point of resolution, the spouses will need to execute a marital settlement agreement, or MSA, that will be presented to the court.  If the court approves the MSA, it will legally dissolve the marriage.  However, everything contained in the MSA must pass legal muster, which means that those who are seeking this solution should also seek the help of experienced San Diego divorce lawyers.  Below is an introduction to California marital settlement agreements.

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement or MSA?

A marital settlement agreement is a legal document that serves almost as a contract.  It’s an agreement between spouses regarding the details of their California divorce that will govern their dealings both during the divorce and after it’s completed.  These documents are the forms that are used to obtain approval from the family court and ultimately to obtain a legal dissolution of the marriage.

What Needs to Be Included in an MSA?

There are standard items that need to be included in every MSA, including the clear identification of the parties and other information regarding the individuals, but beyond those pieces of information most MSA’s are unique in their specific terms.  However, there are issues common to every California divorce that must be included, including:

  • Division of property and liabilities
  • Division of retirement benefits
  • Sale or disposition of certain marital assets
  • Health insurance issues
  • Pet custody resolution
  • Spousal support if applicable

Of course, if there are children of the marriage, several additional pieces of information will be necessary, including:

  • Child custody
  • Child visitation
  • Child support

Each of these issues is technical in nature and must include specific language that deals with several different contingencies.  Failure to properly handle all of the details regarding the children could result in a denial by the court to dissolve the marriage.

How San Diego Divorce Lawyers Can Help

Cleary, no one wants to go through a divorce more than once with the same person, and no one who wants to work out a solution civilly wants the process of completing the divorce extended.  Therefore, those who would like to work towards this solution should seek the help of San Diego divorce lawyers who can make sure that the MSA is proper and ready for approval.  Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.