Divorce is never an easy decision, but sometimes it is the best option for everyone involved. The process can be long and complicated, but understanding the basics will help to make things go more smoothly. As your local Divorce Paralegal, here are some things you should know.
The Legal Process of Divorce
A divorce is a legal process of ending a marriage through the court system. One of the spouses will start the divorce by filing a petition; that person will be forever known as the petitioner. The other spouse is the respondent. Filing first holds absolutely no bearing anything in this type of proceeding. This is because we live in a no-fault state, meaning the petitioner does have to prove anything to start or finish a divorce, even if the other spouse does not want one. No one can force you to stay married to them.
But not all marriages end dramatically; most divorces are settled out of court. That doesn’t mean it will still not be one of the most stressful times in your life. On top of all the emotional, financial, and spiritual pain the divorce will cause the two of you, there will still be monumental decisions that need to be made. I will explain the procedure below.
The Purpose of a Marital Settlement Agreement
The terms Marital Settlement Agreement, Property Settlement Agreements, Settlement Agreements, or just MSA are often used to describe a written contract between spouses. Think of it as a contract to end your marriage. It is an original document created on pleading paper and is unique to your specific situation. It can be made at any point during the divorce process but is usually drafted toward the end.
The purpose of the MSA is to outline and address the issues that a family court judge will decide on in all divorces, such as property division, debt assignment and settlement, spousal support, and child custody, if necessary, visitation and support. Those subjects are broad and ensure that other minor issues are addressed in that agreement. For example, the discussion of child support will bring up subparts such as who will pay the apport, who will receive it, how much, and how often. The MSA will also cover items you may not have considered, such as how you will pay your taxes for the last year of your marriage or who gets to pick the realtor if you sell your house.
If the MSA is drafted well, no one will ever have to set foot in a courtroom, it could save you at least 50% in filing fees, and everyone walks away without feeling cheated.
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If you are an attorney in need of Paralegal services or if you are a private party or member of the general public looking for Legal Documentation Assistance, trust the experts at Attorney Alternative. We are a locally-owned company that takes great pride in providing Fresno with the highest quality Professional Legal Documentation Assistance. We put our client’s needs above everything else to ensure they receive the most effective services. At Attorney Alternative, customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the services we provide. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us via phone, email, or fill out the contact form on our website, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
Information provided through this site has been taken from self-help informational publications provided by the Court or other legal sources believed to be reliable. This information is general, published, factual information and should not be cited on or relied on as legal authority, nor should it be considered legal advice. It is always recommended that you seek legal advice from an attorney before filing any legal proceedings. Many attorneys offer free consultations.