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Agreements, including Marital Settlement Agreements, are made privately. Orders, including Consent Orders, are made publicly.
Marital Settlement Agreements and Consent Orders are enforceable by the courts if someone is in default or violation of your Agreement or Consent Order.
Marital Settlement Agreements (also called Property Settlement Agreements or Matrimonial Settlement Agreements) contain all the terms of your divorce. They cover distribution of assets and liabilities, alimony, child custody and parenting time, child support, and all the other terms you need to finalize your divorce. Marital Settlement Agreements are often fairly lengthy and provide for many obligations, waivers, and protections.
Marital Settlement Agreements are effective when they are signed by both spouses, not when your divorce is finalized.
Prenuptial Agreements allow marrying individuals to define their obligations and protections in advance of their marriage. Wealthy individuals use Prenuptial Agreements to protect their assets from the risks of divorce. Individuals with prior families use them to set aside assets for their first families in the event of divorce. Individuals with premarital businesses, residences, or other assets that they wish to remain separate in case of divorce, use Prenuptial Agreements to define these rights. Most individuals who enter a Prenuptial Agreement wish to determine their rights and responsibilities in advance of the marriage so that, in the case of a divorce, the outcome is more clear. Prenuptial Agreements become effective on the day the marriage takes place.
Separation Agreements allow couples to live separate and apart and, if necessary, set spousal support (alimony), child support, and perhaps divide assets and liabilities. Alimony paid under a Separation Agreement may be tax-deductible to the person who is paying alimony. Separation Agreements allow the spouses to stay married (for example, for health insurance purposes) and may be converted into Matrimonial Settlement Agreements if the parties ultimately divorce. Reconciliation Agreements make certain provisions if the couple reconciles.
Consent Orders are a type of Agreement. Both parties agree to terms and submit the Consent Order to the Court to be filed. In this way, individuals can agree on child custody, child support, modifying alimony, modifying child support, and resolving any other divorce and family law issue long after the divorce, such as each party’s contribution to college.
Agreements can be complex. There are many nuances and pitfalls in drafting them, and the language must be very specific to protect your interests and accurately capture your deal.
Keith Law Firm, LLC serves clients from Union County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, and Hudson County.
If you have questions regarding your specific Agreement or enforcement issue, speak with a well-versed practitioner at Keith Law Firm, LLC who will provide you with individualized legal counsel. Ideally, you may find a reasonable way to resolve your issues outside of court. This may involve negotiation, mediation, or the Collaborative Law process.