Marital Settlement Agreement vs. Divorce Decree: Differences To Know
The divorce process involves much paperwork. Whether you cooperate with a professional divorce lawyer or manage marriage termination on your own, it is necessary to understand the general meaning of the docs or even go deep into details.
Some of the top major papers you will deal with are a marital settlement agreement and a divorce decree. People think they are one and the same doc. But in fact, these papers are different in timing and meaning throughout the divorce process. Discover the details of marital settlement agreement vs divorce decree comparison to prepare for your successful marriage termination.
Marital Settlement Agreement
To understand what is a settlement agreement in a divorce one should look closely at the process you need to cover to bring your relationships to the end officially. To initiate the divorce you have to complete the filing procedure. You can add the marital settlement agreement to your filing docs pack simplifying and speeding your marriage termination as a result. Or you may provide the judge with your agreement later after the filing, serving, and responding processes are complete.
The divorce settlement agreement is an official contract drawn up between you and your spouse to regulate your marital and divorce issues. The document includes regulations on the following points:
- Assets – insurance, joint accounts, etc.;
- Property – mortgage, taxes, personal property;
- Debt – personal loans, credit card debt;
- Children – visitation, custody, savings and insurance, other co-parenting details.
In each of the points, both you and your spouse achieve a compromise on how to deal with your former marital relations and belongings after the divorce. If you cooperate well and care about each other’s benefits and comfort, you will manage to come to an agreement quickly and equitably and get your process to last no longer than a waiting period for divorce in Texas. Then you can make your divorce final in as soon as sixty days.
Mind that if you or your family suffer from domestic violence you can skip the waiting period. But when spousal abuse is involved, it is hardly possible that you can reach an agreement without the officials and relevant authoritative processes involved.
If you wonder what is divorce decree for when you have already dealt with all the related issues and come to an agreement with your ex, here is a simple explanation. When you file your marital agreement to the court, the judge has to review it for your decisions to meet the local legislature and common sense of fairness. If your papers comply, the judge will grant you a divorce decree, a document stating that your marriage is officially over. Your settlement agreement is usually incorporated in the divorce decree to regulate your post-divorce issues from now on.
In case you cannot find a mutually beneficial solution on all or some of the divorce issues, then the judge will do this for you. Then the judge’s decisions will be included in the divorce decree as the guidance for your life and relations with your ex after divorce.
Both divorce decree and marriage settlement agreement are the documents necessary to complete the divorce process. While the first is usually the regulation of marital and divorce issues, the latter can include such regulation and is mainly the finalization of the marriage.
It depends on your desire and possibility to cooperate with your soon-to-be-ex which of the papers will be defining in your divorce process. But it is better for you to stipulate your divorce rules in the marital settlement agreement. Then it will be you and your spouse to decide on the conditions of your further life, but not a ‘stranger’ judge who cannot get to know all the peculiarities of your case in such a limited time.
Remember that if you wish your marital settlement agreement to be maximally equitable and comfortable for both of you, then it is highly recommended to cooperate with the relevant experts as well. It is great if you and your spouse can hire different divorce attorneys to advise and monitor your case and reach the desired outcomes quickly. Avoid hiring your family lawyer to regulate your divorce issues to prevent any conflict of interest.
Study the legal aspects of your case, prepare well, be open and cooperative and you will be able to terminate your marriage without complications and delays.