white plains new york marital settlement agreement lawyer

Marital Settlement Agreement Lawyers in White Plains New York and Mississauga, Canada

Financial and family matters may be addressed in a marital settlement agreement between the divorcing parties outlining “agreed upon conditions and future actions” relevant to finances, dependent care, visitation, and expenses incurred above alimony requirements and child support obligations. A comprehensive settlement agreement addressing all important facets of a failed marriage may increase the ability to maintain a stable family future where divorcing spouses do not harbor resentment, so it is important to seek assistance from experienced attorneys at The Bobb Law Firm PLLC. A marriage settlement agreement is probably the most complex portion of either contested, or uncontested divorce actions. The determination of who gets what, and who pays for what, often leads to some disagreements, even in an uncontested divorce.

Equitable distribution (U.S.)

All states except for Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin follow the principles of equitable distribution and marital property will be equally divided between parties upon divorce finalization, unless there is a substantial reason for an unequal distribution. Nonmarital property, assets, debts, and liability acquired before the marriage, remain sole and separate to each party to the divorce.

Common property distribution

The states/provinces that do not follow equitable distribution are considered common property divorce states/provinces, where all property of a married person is classified as either community property, that is owned jointly by both spouses, or considered the separate property of one spouse. In these states/provinces, marital property refers to the property acquired by either, or both spouses during the marriage. Separate property refers to any property the spouses acquired separately before the marriage, or after. Separate property also includes any gifts, or inheritances acquired by either spouse at any time. There are exceptions to general rules, which are outlined in each state/province’s property laws. When divorce is finalized, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his/her separate property.

Property distribution (Canada)

Under Canada’s Constitution, each province and territory is responsible for laws regarding the division and/or equalization of family or marital property, and these laws can vary from one province or territory to another. The theory that is applied to most family assets, with the exception of some is: “The value of any property that you acquired during your marriage and that you still have when you separate, must be divided equally between spouses. Property that was brought into your marriage is yours to keep, but any increases in the value of this property during the duration of the marriage must be shared.”

Court considerations

A court will review a number of factors in determining how to divide marital property, including:

  • The financial condition and earning power of each spouse
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property, including a spouse’s business, investment interests, 401(k)/pension, etc
  • Each spouses’ contribution to the acquisition of marital property
  • Each spouses’ contribution to the education and earning power of the other spouse
  • Future financial needs and liabilities of each spouse
  • The ages and overall health of each spouse
  • The liquidity of marital property
  • Premarital and prenuptial agreements
  • Spousal maintenance, or alimony obligations

An attorney at The Bobb Law Firm PLLC can draft a marriage settlement agreement after input from clients regarding factors that a court would consider for a final order of distribution of marital property. A detailed marriage settlement agreement has a higher chance of accord from the other spouse and his/her attorney. Experienced divorce lawyers will utilize their legal expertise to draft an agreement that maintains financial stability for their clients, while adhering to all pertinent financial business, real estate, and tax laws of the state/province where the divorce is filed.

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