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3 Provisions of Your Marital Settlement Agreement That Can Never Be Too Detailed


No one likes a pedant, but sometimes it pays to nitpick about details.  Anyone who has ever worked in an industry that involves writing and editing knows that sometimes obvious mistakes escape the notice of multiple people who review the document, only to make themselves known during the final round of proofreading, or worse, after publication.  It’s easy enough to make edits to a blog post after you have already posted it, but what if everyone saw your document in its final form, when it was too late to change it.  Imagine designing a drop-dead gorgeous wedding invitation, only to discover that your name was spelled wrong, or that the way you wrote the name and address of the wedding venue was such that there was a 50 percent chance that the guests who show up at a country club in Coral Gables and a 50 percent chance that they would go to a country club in Palm Beach.  Such a mistake would ruin your wedding, but mistakes or ambiguity in your marital settlement agreement (MSA) can leave you in poor financial circumstances for years after your divorce.  It pays to go over every detail of your MSA before submitting it to the judge to finalize your divorce, even if this makes divorce mediation take longer.  For help drafting an airtight property division agreement, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

In an age when most divorcing couples are above the age of 50, most MSAs include provisions about retirement accounts.  It is a mistake just to look at the account balance and award half of it to each spouse, because the value of the account may change by the time your divorce becomes final.  The government office that prepares QDROs will draft yours using its own boilerplate language if your QDRO provisions in your MSA are vague or ambiguous.

Refinancing Your Mortgage

Many MSAs contain a provision that the spouse who keeps the house must refinance the mortgage so that it is only in his or her own name.  Refinancing a mortgage is not quick or easy, and the deadline you set in your MSA should be realistic.  You should also include language to the effect that, for any months after the divorce is final but your ex’s name has not yet been removed from the mortgage, your ex is not responsible for paying.

Assets That Fluctuate in Value

Assets such as stock options and business interests fluctuate in value.  Before or during divorce mediation, you should consult a financial expert to assess the value of these assets.  The MSA should be clear about the date of valuation on which the division of these assets will be based.

Contact Schwartz | White About Property Division in Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you draft a detailed property division agreement to prevent further litigation after your divorce becomes final.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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