A marital settlement agreement (MSAA) is not the same as a divorce settlement agreement (DSAA). They are not the same thing either. A divorce settlement agreement will give you the practical side of things, which could include you and your spouse’s share of assets, marital home (or “security interest”), child support payments, etc.
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A marriage settlement agreement (MSAA) will give you the legal side of things, which would be a divorce decree and the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. Both spouses must sign the document for it to be valid. This includes the courts. The parties must have access to the document to be able to properly execute it.
An MSA must have the names of both parties included in the document. The names must be legible for it to be legally binding. You will be required to sign your name or affirm that you understand it. You will also be required to enter your full legal name.
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The time you agree to sign on to the document should be stated as soon as possible. This allows both parties to ensure that everything is signed at the time specified. Once the parties have agreed to sign the document, it must be submitted to the court.
If an MSA is not submitted to the court within the required time frame, then the process will become invalid. If the court finds that the situation is not ripe enough for a settlement agreement, then a divorce decree is declared. This is an official court decree that defines the terms of the divorce, so any miscalculation can have serious ramifications.
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There are three types of divorce settlements: a non-molten SSAA, a molten SSAA, and a lump sum SSAA. The non-molten SSAA is the lowest common denominator. It is a divorce settlement agreement where there is no delineation of what each party has received, and neither party is obligated to pay anything.
The second type of MSA is the molten SSAA. In this case, one of the parties must be specified as the victim. This means that the party will pay the other party what they are owed.
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The third main form of a settlement agreement is the lump sum SSAA. In this form, the loser does not pay anything. It is known as a win-lose situation because one party wins, but the other party loses.
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