Q. What is a Marital Separation and Property Settlement Agreement (MSA) ?
Q. Why is a Marital Separation and Property Settlement Agreement important?
Q. What is the difference between a contested or uncontested divorce?
Q. How long are the parties bound by a Marital Separation and Property Settlement Agreement?
Q. Do the courts review the fairness of a Marital Separation and Property Settlement Agreement?
Q. What is the difference between "marital property" and "non-marital property"?
The Marital Separation and Property Separation Agreement (MSA) that you create using Rapidocs within this web site will cover every major circumstance and enable you to deal with the following issues:
- Child Support Payments Under New York Law
- Spousal Maintenance Under New York Law
- Property Division
- Division of Debts
- Health Insurance
- Disposition of the Marital Home
- Pension Plans
- Tax Issues
- Future Dispute Settlement
You can assemble your MSA before and review your language before you purchase it with your credit card and you can amend the MSA after you purchase it any time.
In New York, you execute an MSA one-year before you file your divorce papers, normally at the time that you separate. In New York you have to file your MSA with the court and receive from the court acknowledgement that the MSA has been filed and the date of filing.
This allows you to negotiate and execute your MSA and then to file for your divorce as soon as the waiting period has been completed.
Q. Is an MSA required in New York?
The documents offered from our site may be used to obtain a no-fault uncontested divorce in a New York Supreme Court under the no-fault grounds of either Irretrievable Breakdown or Voluntary Separation. For either divorce action, the Court will not decide on matters relating to spousal support, or child support, custody and visitation. These matters are typically resolved through a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) signed by both parties. A MSA is required for all Voluntary Separation divorce actions.
New York's Irretrievable Breakdown ground for no-fault divorce requires that the parties, under oath to the Court, state they have had a breakdown of the marital relationship over a period of six (6) months at the time of filing the divorce action. If the parties do not have matters that would necessitate a MSA, the documents will state that the parties have agreed upon all issues. A MSA is required for divorce actions that involve minor children, as details of child support, custody and visitation must be presented to the Court.
New York's Voluntary Separation no-fault divorce requires that the parties execute (sign) a MSA and then live apart from one another for at least one year before the actual divorce documents can be filed.Back to top
A marital separation agreement, also known as a property settlement agreement, is a written contract dividing your property, spelling out your rights, and settling problems such as alimony and custody. A marital separation agreement may be drawn before or after you have filed for divorce � even while you and your spouse are still living together.
When you initially execute a marital separation agreement you usually do not have to file the separation agreement with the court to be effective.Back to top
If you have no marital property, no joint debts, and no children, you probably don't need a marital separation agreement to get a no-fault divorce. However, if you want to provide for the future governance of your relationship, as well as provide additional evidence to the court about the day that you separated, you should have a Marital Settlement Agreement. An agreement leaves no doubt about the details of the ending of your marriage relationship. It is better to have a clearly written agreement, rather than rely on verbal understandings.Back to top
Divorces are either contested or uncontested. Contested divorces are those in which the respondent disputes any issue in the case - the divorce itself, the property division, child custody, alimony, etc. Uncontested divorces fall into two categories - (1) Consent Divorces - the parties agree on all major issues; and (2) Default causes - where the respondent fails to appear to contest the divorce or any issue in it, either because he or she chooses not to oppose it, or because he or she cannot be located. By entering into a Marital Settlement Agreement you make your divorce an uncontested divorce.Back to top
A separation agreement is a legal document that will bind you through many years and determine your rights, obligations, and responsibilities from your marriage. You and your spouse can amend the agreement if you both consent to the changes; or it can be modified by a court order, provided the agreement does not specifically state that the agreement is not subject to any court modification. Nevertheless, the court can always modify provisions in an agreement regarding the care and custody of any minor children.Back to top
In an uncontested divorce, the court nearly always approves the agreement of the parties if it is generally fair and the court is convinced that the agreement was entered into by both spouses without fraud or coercion. Often the court may want to review financial affidavits attached to the agreement in order to determine its fairness.
In negotiating your agreement, you should be guided by how a court is likely to divide your property, award custody and child support, and deal with other issues.Back to top
In an "equitable distribution state" state, like New York , all property acquired during the marriage is "marital property" and all property is divided into marital property (which means it is both yours and your spouse's) and non-marital property ( which means the property belongs to either you or your spouse alone). I general the following rules apply which categorizing property into "marital" or "non-marital property":
- If the asset or debt was acquired after the date you were married it is presumed to be a marital asset or debt.
- A non-marital asset or debt is one that was acquired before the date of your marriage. It is also a non-marital asset if you acquired it through a gift or inheritance. Income from non-marital property is also considered non-marital property.
- Even if an assets or debt was acquired by your spouse individually, it is considered to be a marital asset or debt, if acquired during the marriage. This includes rights in pension and profit-sharing plans.
- Real estate that is in both names is considered marital property.