Marital Settlement Agreements (also called Property Settlement Agreements or Matrimonial Settlement Agreements) contain all the terms of your divorce. They cover the 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. A Marital Settlement Agreement becomes effective once it is 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 family in the event of divorce. Individuals with premarital businesses, residences, or other assets that they wish to remain separate in case of divorce can use Prenuptial Agreements to define these rights. Most individuals who enter into 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 will be clearer. 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 possibly divide assets and liabilities. Separation Agreements allow spouses to stay legally married (for health insurance purposes, for example) and may be converted into Matrimonial Settlement Agreements if the parties ultimately divorce. Reconciliation Agreements make certain provisions if the couple reconciles. Please keep in mind that a “legal separation” does not exist in New Jersey. Instead, you will have to file for a Divorce from Bed and Board.
Keith Family Law is a full-service family law practice in Westfield, New Jersey that serves clients from Union County, Essex County, Hudson County, Morris County, Hunterdon County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Warren County.