If you are going through a divorce in Michigan, you may be able to enter into a marital settlement agreement (MSA) with your spouse instead of going through costly and timely divorce litigation in which the judge makes a decision about the division of marital property, spousal maintenance, child custody, and other significant issues. Under Michigan law, spouses can be eligible to enter into a settlement agreement regardless of whether they have minor children from the marriage, but the agreement may need to be structured differently. When it comes to a divorce settlement, it can be difficult to know precisely what you should be asking for and what you should require before you reach an agreement with your ex. Our Michigan divorce lawyers are here to help.
Terms for Selling the Marital Home
If you own a home with your spouse, one of the first things you should be thinking about when it comes to equitable distribution and the division of marital property is how you want to handle the marital residence. In some cases, one of the spouses will want to keep the home after considering issues like property taxes and the costs of maintenance and upkeep. If one of the spouses does want to keep the home, retaining the property should be considered in relation to the division of other existing marital assets and debts. If the parties want to sell the house, the marital settlement agreement should outline the terms for selling the house and dividing the proceeds from the sale.
Detailed Division of Bank and Retirement Accounts
There are many different types of marital assets that will need to be divided in a divorce, and your settlement agreement should detail how all bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other investments will be divided. The agreement should take into account the tax consequences of dividing a retirement account and should detail how a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) can be used to avoid early withdrawal penalties.
Specific Division of Marital Debts
If you and your spouse have marital debt, you should ensure that your divorce settlement clarifies how divorce will be divided. Otherwise, you could get stuck with most or all of the marital debt.
Spousal Maintenance Terms
If you are seeking spousal maintenance and if you are eligible to receive this type of support, you should ensure that your divorce settlement includes information about the amount of support, the duration of the support payments, and how they will be paid (i.e., monthly or in a lump-sum payment).
Child Custody and Parenting Time Arrangements
If you have minor children from your marriage, it is critical for your divorce settlement to have clear and detailed terms about how you will share child custody and parenting time. Your parenting time schedule, which should be included in the divorce settlement, should detail weekly parenting time, parenting time over holidays and school breaks, and how you will handle any unexpected issues that arise. Your child custody portion of the agreement can even detail how you will communicate with your ex (i.e, through text or phone call), and what kind of notice you will give.
Seek Advice From a Divorce Attorney in Michigan
When you want to enter into a marital settlement agreement, it is essential to have a Michigan divorce lawyer on your side to ensure that the terms are favorable to you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today to learn more about how we can assist you.