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marital settlement agreement

Allows divorcing spouses to agree to the terms of their divorce.  The agreement generally can cover property division, spousal (maintenance) support, child custody and visitation arrangements, and any other issues relevant to the divorcing couple.  However, the parties may not agree on child support.  Child support is the right of the child and is regulated by the state.

If the court decides that the agreement is fair to all concerned parties, the agreement may be signed into an order of the court as a final judgment of divorce.

 

marital property

Marital property is property acquired after the parties are married.  Property acquired before the marriage is considered the individual and separate property of the acquiring spouse and the court will have no authority to distribute individual property when the marriage is dissovled. 

 

alimony

When a marriage ends in divorce, one spouse may receive monetary support from the other.  Oftentimes, the receiving spouse must be unable to support themselves without the help of their ex-spouse.  Depending on the state, support may be based on a series of factors, such as the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, degrees earned (if any) etc.  Payments may be in one lumps sum, or in a series of monthly payments.  Duration of alimony is often based on the length of the marriage; in other words, the longer the marriage, the longer the duration of alimony payment

 

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