New York Marriage Settlement Agreement: What You Need to Know

A marriage settlement agreement (MSA) is a legal contract that couples can enter into either before, during, or after their marriage. In New York, this agreement outlines the division of property, assets, and debts in the event of a separation or divorce. It`s essential to understand what an MSA entails and how it can benefit you.

What is an MSA?

An MSA is a legal document that outlines how a couple`s assets and liabilities will be divided if they decide to separate or divorce. It can also address other matters such as child custody, visitation rights, and spousal support.

An MSA is a useful tool for couples who want to decide how their assets will be divided without going to court. However, it`s worth noting that an MSA is not guaranteed to be legally binding, as a judge can overrule it if it`s deemed to be unfair or unjust.

What to Include in an MSA

When creating an MSA, couples must decide which items they want to include. Some of the most common topics covered in an MSA include:

1. Property division: This includes the couple`s real estate property, personal property, and financial assets.

2. Spousal support: This outlines the amount and duration of spousal support that one partner may provide to the other.

3. Child custody: This outlines how the couple will share responsibility for their children after separation or divorce.

4. Child support: This outlines the amount and duration of financial support that one parent may provide to the other after separation or divorce.

5. Debts: This outlines how the couple`s debts will be divided after separation or divorce.

Benefits of an MSA

There are several benefits of having an MSA. Firstly, it can help to avoid lengthy and costly court battles. If a couple has already agreed on how their assets will be divided, they can avoid the need to involve lawyers and go to court. This can save both parties a substantial amount of money and stress.

Secondly, an MSA can help to preserve a couple`s relationship. If they can agree on the terms of their separation or divorce, it can help to maintain a friendly and respectful relationship between them.

Lastly, an MSA provides couples with certainty. Instead of leaving the division of their assets up to a judge, couples can instead outline their own terms of agreement, giving them control over the outcome.

Conclusion

An MSA is a legal contract that outlines how a couple`s assets and liabilities will be divided after separation or divorce. It can also address other matters such as child custody and spousal support. There are several benefits of having an MSA, including avoiding court battles, preserving relationships, and providing certainty. It`s essential to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law to ensure the MSA is properly drafted and legally binding.