Marital Settlement Agreement
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Marital Settlement Agreements

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Marital Settlement Agreements

By far, the majority of divorces are settled “out of court” by way of agreement. Such agreements are filed with the court and become a binding contract and enforceable by the court. These agreements are known as Marital Settlement Agreements.
Experienced family law attorneys are able to work with each other to reach a mutually agreeable and fair division of assets and debts for their clients, along with parenting plans, child and spousal support figures, and all other issues involved in the dissolution of marriage.
Such agreements typically follow the complete exchange of financial information between the parties (through their attorneys) and other discovery and investigation. Such information may include appraisals of real and personal property, evaluation of business interests and pensions and exchange of financial records such as banking records and credit card records. Depending on the complexity of the marital estate, such discovery and investigation may be more or less extensive.
To assist in more complex or difficult cases, the attorneys and parties may bring in experts. This may include: forensic experts to evaluate assets and calculate support, appraisers to value real and personal property, parenting experts, therapists or custody evaluators to provide advice on parenting plans, tax experts, pension experts to prepare Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, vocational experts, and others. The parties may each hire their own experts, or they may agree to use a single neutral expert on any specific issue to help resolve their issues.

The authority for marital settlement agreements is found in the Family Code. Under the Code, spouses are permitted to contract with each other regarding property and, in a written agreement, may provide for spousal support and child support during a separation or on the dissolution of their marriage.

In negotiating a Marital Settlement Agreement, spouses are required to act toward each other according to the highest good faith and fair dealing (this is called “fiduciary duty”) and are subject to the same rights and duties as business partners.

The settlement of cases out of court through a is often preferable, because it avoids the cost of trial, both emotionally and financially for both parties, and avoids the bitterness and acrimony that often accompanies trial proceedings.

Areas of Practice:
Divorce
Legal Separation
Child Custody
Child Visitation
Parenting Plans (Custody)
Stepparent Adoption
Division of Property
Spousal Support
Child Support
Marital Settlement Agreements
Same Sex Marriage and LGBT Family Law
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Modification of Existing Parenting Plans (Custody)
Modification of Child Support or Spousal Support Orders
Mediation of Family Law Matters

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Family Law Specialist
Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo Divorce Attorney
Legal Separation
Child Custody
Child Visitation
Parenting Plans (Custody)
Stepparent Adoption
Division of Property
Spousal Support
Child Support
Marital Settlement Agreements
Same Sex Marriage and LGBT
Prenuptial Agreements
Postnuptial Agreements
Modification of Existing Parenting Plans (Custody)
Modification of Child Support
Modification of Spousal Support
Family Law Mediation