Marriage is a legal contract between two people who agree to share their lives together. A marriage is often considered to be the union of a man and woman, although same-sex marriages have been recognized in some countries. In many jurisdictions, a marriage may be dissolved by divorce; however, in some jurisdictions, the first step towards dissolving a marriage is a marriage separation agreement PDF.
An MSA is not legally binding until both parties sign it. Here are some reasons why you should sign a marital settlement agreement.
Sets out the terms of separation
A marital separation agreement (MSA) is a written document that sets out the terms of a separation between spouses. Both parties work out the details of the divorce themselves.
Makes all kinds of marital property distribution easier
The term “marital property” refers to any property acquired during the marriage that belongs to both spouses equally. Property owned prior to the marriage does not become marital property unless it was acquired during the marriage.
- Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage, including income earned during the marriage. In states like California, marital property is defined as all real and personal property acquired by either spouse during the marriage.
- Real property includes land, buildings, and improvements to land.
- Personal property includes household goods, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, vehicles, tools, livestock, crops, and business interests.
- Separate property is any asset acquired before the marriage. Separate property includes income earned during the marriage, gifts received during the marriage, inheritances, and property purchased with separate funds.
A marital separation takes place when the parties decide to live apart and stop having sexual relations. When the parties decide to live separately, they may continue to own property jointly. However, they may choose to sell the property and split the proceeds.
When the parties decide to live separate, they may want to keep the house and make payments on it. Or, they may want to sell the house and use the money to pay off debts. A marital separation agreement in NC makes marital property distribution easier.
Important step for ending a marriage
Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage. Divorce proceedings are governed by state law. Most states require a court order to dissolve a marriage. A marital separation is a step taken toward ending a marriage. A marital separation agreement is a written document that spells out how the parties intend to divide their property after the divorce.
After the divorce is granted, the court issues a decree dissolving the marriage. The court’s decree ends the marriage and divides the marital property. The court’s decree also orders child custody and visitation rights.
A marital separation can take place without a court order. However, a court order is necessary to end a marriage. If one spouse dies after signing the MSA, then the surviving spouse may still be bound by its terms.
A marital separation agreement is drafted by attorneys who specialize in family law. But you can also find readymade forms for this type of agreement online, which can be downloaded and customized as needed.