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Marital Settlement Agreements

When divorcing or separating parties agree on some or all issues concerning property, support and children, they may choose to enter into a written settlement agreement. A settlement agreement sets forth the terms of each party's marital property, spousal support, child support, custody and visitation or parenting time rights. Marital settlement agreements in California allow parties to have control over the resolution of issues that are important to them, rather than having decisions imposed upon them by the court. Another advantage of marital settlement agreements is that they tend to result in less hostility and expense than litigating issues in family court.

California residents facing dissolution of a marriage or domestic partnership may wish to consider reaching settlement through negotiation or mediation. Settlement often saves time and money and minimizes emotional trauma. At Shaffer & Associates, we have extensive experience in creating and drafting marital settlement agreements. We will thoroughly brief you on how California marriage and divorce law applies to your situation, help you negotiate the terms of the agreement with your spouse, and prepare and file the documents for you. If you and your spouse can resolve all the issues in your divorce with a marital settlement agreement, you may not even have to make a court appearance. Often, parties have disagreements concerning one or more issues in their divorce which require a judge to make a decision before parties resolve to try and agree on the remaining issues in their divorce.

Contents of a California Marital Settlement Agreement

A comprehensive marital settlement agreement usually provides for all of the following:

  • Characterization of property interests and characterization and division of the community estate (assets and debts)
  • Adjustment of reimbursement claims and income tax issues
  • Payment of child support, spousal support and attorney fees and costs
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Certain waivers and indemnification agreements between the spouses

Because a marital settlement agreement is essentially the "private law" of your divorce, it's critical to be sure that it contains all the provisions you need it to, and that you understand and are willing to abide by its terms. At Shaffer & Associates, we spend all the time needed to make sure that your marital settlement agreement truly meets your needs. As experienced California family law attorneys, we have the foresight to ask the questions and explore the issues that may not occur to our clients until it's too late. Our priority is protecting the rights and interests of our clients so that they can move forward with their lives.

Settlement Agreements in San Diego and the Surrounding Communities

Our attorneys serve San Diego County and the surrounding communities, including Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County. Contact Shaffer & Associates online or call (619) 230-1030 for a free case evaluation.

San Diego Bar AssociationSection of Family LawCalifornia State Bar Family Law American Bar Association Avvo Clients' Choice 2014