What is a Property Settlement Agreement in Divorce?

If you are considering a divorce, or going through one, you have learned that you require a PSA or Property Settlement Agreement. Simply put, a PSA sets out the terms of the divorce and becomes a contract between the couple regarding parenting (custody and parenting time), child support, alimony (also known as spousal support), and distribution of assets and debts.

What is included in a Property Settlement Agreement?

Decisions regarding Children. All arrangements in regards to children will be looked at in regards to their best interests. This means the court can choose to alter the arrangements or can be changed in the future if needed, including custody, visitation and child support.

Decisions will be made regarding decision-making, day to day care, who is responsible for child-related expenses (including child care, medical expenses, sports/hobbies, tuition, etc.)

Spousal Support. Unlike child support, alimony is typically not modified unless there is a significant change in circumstances such as job loss, permanent disability, remarriage of one or both parties, or unfair terms.

Distribution of Assets. Anything acquired during the marriage is considered martial property and will be divided in a fair and equitable way. If you don’t have a pre or post nuptial agreement, assets brought into the marriage may also be dividable. This agreement is also rarely or never able to be modified, so it is important that the language is accurate.

In divorce, assets include: bank and investment accounts (including retirement funds), real estate, vehicles (including boats, RV, etc.), business interests, furniture, household items, and more.

The Importance of Clear Language

There are tax implications with all distribution of money, so it is important to include language that is acceptable to the IRS and is clear. Such language makes it difficult for either party to overturn the Property Settlement Agreement and includes a statement to the effect of:

“Each party has had the opportunity or has been advised fully and adequately by their respective legal counsel, of their own choice, as to the character and legal effect of all recitals and covenants contained in this agreement, and each party further warrants that he/she fully understands the nature and effects of such recitals and covenants prior to the execution of this agreement.”

 

A Property Settlement Agreement is a crucial part of your legal divorce paperwork and errors can be costly. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate through in a way that is fair and equitable. With over 29 years of experience, the Simon Law Group will provide a free and confidential consultation when you call 480-745-2450.

Remember, Experience Matters!!!