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Two Benefits to Having a Marital Settlement Agreement by RI Divorce Attorney Christopher Pearsall

If you had the choice of having an easy uncontested Rhode Island divorce and a difficult mess of a divorce, which would you choose?

I would like to think that you would choose an easy uncontested Rhode Island Divorce because I prefer to think that as a reader of this blog you have a lot of common sense and you would rather see things go smoothly instead of roughly.

There are two benefits that divorcing spouses should be aware of on a practical level.

If you don't understand what a Rhode Island Marital Settlement Agreement is, then here it is in a nutshell.

Rhode Island Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) 

A Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) is a written contract which is entered into and signed by both parties and contains all the items you and your spouse agree upon regarding the manner in which you are going to dispose of your marital estate (your marital assets and debts) and usually includes all the specific agreements you and your spouse have made to provide for your Minor Children.

A successfully drafted Marital Settlement Agreement that is signed and executed by both spouses to a divorce creates two specific benefits for the spouses.

First, a well-drafted Marital Settlement Agreement allows the attorneys to quickly authenticate the MSA by the testimony of the spouses and ask that the court accept it and approve it as a full exhibit.  

Assuming this is successful, the MSA eliminates the need for the judge to hear countless pages of details and conditions about all the assets, debts and considerations for the children, except those provisions in the Marital Settlement Agreement that are required to be placed on the record of the family court because they relate directly to the well-being of the Minor Children, Healthcare directives of the parties, and provisions regarding Alimony.  This, of course, saves the spouses considerable time on the witness stand and makes the proceeding flow much more quickly.

Second, many experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys charge different rates for time spent preparing for a case and time spent "in court."  Time spent "in court" is usually more expensive.  Therefore, the shorter your uncontested hearing, the less money you will spend on the actual proceeding simply because you used a Marital Settlement Agreement.

Other benefits will be discussed in subsequent articles, including problematic issues and how they might best be addressed.

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

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