Do I need a Marital Settlement Agreement in my Divorce?

Explore why a Marital Settlement Agreement is crucial in your divorce process. Learn how it helps in asset division, child custody, and more.

Ever wondered if you need a Marital Settlement Agreement in your divorce? This document, also known as MSA, is vital for resolving divorce-related issues and ensuring a smoother process.

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

A Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract between divorcing spouses. It helps in resolving issues like asset division, liabilities, and child custody. Having an MSA gives you control over your divorce terms instead of leaving them to a judge.

Why You May Need an MSA

If you have assets, liabilities, or minor children, you’ll likely need an MSA. This agreement helps you tackle these issues on your terms. It’s especially helpful for preserving your unique family needs and preferences.

Flexibility with Partial Agreements

You can opt for a partial agreement if you and your spouse agree on some, but not all, issues. This means the judge will only decide the remaining unresolved issues during the trial.

The Parenting Plan Aspect

When kids are involved, your MSA should include a parenting plan. This plan outlines child custody schedules, activity costs, and insurance coverage. Both parents can collaborate to design a plan that suits their and their children’s needs.

Just like MSAs, you and your ex can also present a partial agreement that includes points you agree on. The Court will decide the issues concerning the kids that are not resolved.

What Happens When There’s No Agreement

Without an MSA, the judge decides all unresolved issues after a court hearing. This can include child custody matters if you don’t agree on a parenting plan. You can still present partial agreements to the court, which will rule on the remaining points.


Having a Marital Settlement Agreement in your divorce process not only streamlines the procedure but also ensures that you have a say in your future. A well-drafted MSA can save you time, money, and emotional stress. Consult an experienced divorce attorney for personalized advice.

The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

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