What Happens Before and After a Marital Settlement Agreement?

What Happens Before and After a Marital Settlement Agreement

When it comes to disputes that come up during or after the marriage, it’s essential to know how to resolve those issues and protect yourself and your assets. That’s where a marital settlement agreement comes in. In short, this is a binding contract that a lawyer often drafts to protect the rights of each spouse as part of a divorce. If you have ever wondered what happens before and after a divorce agreement is signed, take a closer look at the information, we will discuss. 

Before Signing 

Many different factors go into creating a divorce agreement. The primary purpose of this document is to create a contract in which each spouse is responsible for the terms of the agreements, which can involve everything such as:

  • child custody
  • division of property 
  • alimony
  • child support 

An agreement such as this can be confusing for someone who is not experienced in law. Therefore, having an attorney go over the contract with you will help you better understand the terms and prevent your ex-spouse from taking advantage of the situation. Generally, it is best to create an agreement with the help of an attorney to avoid issues down the road.  

After Signing

Once you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse sign the agreement, it then becomes a binding contract in which you are obligated by law to follow the terms accordingly. The laws in each state are different; however, once the contract is signed, it can then be reviewed by a judge and incorporated into your final divorce decree. It will then become court-ordered to follow the agreement as is or face the consequences. 

Failure to Uphold the Agreement

What happens if I go against the agreement or court order? Depending on the remaining relationship you have with your ex-spouse, you might not be in any trouble. However, although things can be good one day, they might not always stay that way. Verbal agreements do not protect you, and you and your spouse still have the right to enforce the original contract. 

Divorce can cause tension between ex-spouses, and the agreement is made to keep things as copesetic as possible. In the case where you or your spouse violates the court-ordered agreement, you could be held in contempt of court. You can prevent this unnecessary stress and worry by fully understanding the terms of the contract before signing it. This will allow you to follow the court’s orders without getting into trouble. 

Can the Agreement be Changed?

In short, the general answer is yes; however, there are some instances where it cannot be modified. Just because your agreement is signed and the divorce is finalized does not mean that changes cannot be made. In a world where life is unpredictable, you can always go back and modify the agreement to make things easier for both parties. However, you must understand that both parties need to agree on the new changes. 

Just because you want something changed does not mean that it will happen. There may also be instances where certain aspects of the agreement are considered non-modifiable; this means they cannot be changed. If this becomes an issue, it is best to get an attorney involved to help you figure out the best course of action to take. 

Don’t let the thought of a marital settlement agreement keep you up at night. At Cobb Cole, our divorce attorneys can help you through the process and create an agreement that both you and your ex-spouse are happy with. We have been serving residents in the Port Orange area for over 90 years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.