October 29, 2020

A Guide to the Different Kinds of Marital Settlement Agreements

During your wedding day, you make a vow to be with your spouse for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, until death part you from each other. But for some couples, there will come the point when problems and differences become too taxing to settle—and the only solution is to end your marriage. 

 Regardless of the reason for your fallout, breaking your vows and deciding on a marital settlement agreement is always tough. It will require your time, effort, and money to ensure you go through a legal process and that both spouses can rightfully receive what each deserves.

Ending a marriage can happen in several ways, particularly: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Choosing the best option will require careful decision-making and the help of a divorce lawyer to aid in sorting things out. 

To help you decide on what you might need, then here is a quick guide on the different kinds of marital settlement agreements available today.


What is Divorce?

A divorce is also referred to as a dissolution of marriage. The state of Florida is known for terminating fault as the cause behind the divorce. It means that the only way for couples to reach an agreement is if the marriage is considered irretrievably broken. 

 It doesn’t matter who files for a divorce between the couple. The procedure entails having valid proof that the marriage took place and that either spouse has been a Florida resident for the past six months before the claim. Usually, a divorce can include judgment over the distribution of possessions and debts, the alimony awards, and the responsibility for the children.  

The dissolution of a marriage does not always lead to a heated argument and can be processed peacefully. Still, it will depend if both spouses agree to part ways and divide their assets accordingly. In that case, they can file for a collaborative dissolution process, which entails reasonable faith to accomplish the agreement without issues. 


What is Legal Separation?

Legal separation is another method of providing a better approach at child custody and support, distribution of properties and debts, and spousal support, all while keeping the validity of the marriage. The only downside to the settlement is that neither spouse can remarry, as they are still bound together by the law.

If you’re planning to file for a legal separation in Florida, unfortunately, the state currently does not allow it. Instead, you can only go as far as living in a different house from your spouse without going through a court procedure. You can also seek the help of a judge for child custody, visiting rights, and other instances that require a legal professional’s help.

For married couples planning to file for legal separation in a different state that does allow it, you will receive a legally binding document stating the provisions of the agreement. It will change into a court order as soon as the judge has approved it. 


What is Annulment?

Annulment is an agreement that ceases the existence of a marriage and eliminates the legal contract you once signed yourself up for with your spouse. Any married couple looking to choose annulment must learn to act immediately to prevent your chances of the case turning into a divorce because you’ve waited too long.  

You should also prove that specific conditions come into play before filing for an annulment, including the lack of commitment to the marital settlement, intentional fraud, or an unconsummated marriage. Other factors are having an underaged spouse, cases of incest, and impotence.



Now that you know the legal ways to settle a marriage agreement with your spouse, what you decide on will ultimately be up to you and your partner. Whether you choose to file for a divorce, legal separation, or annulment, it would help to reach out to a lawyer who can help you weigh in your options and help you choose the right marital settlement agreement for your situation. 

Are you looking for a divorce lawyer in Jacksonville to guide you through the legal settlement procedures? The Dorsey Law Firm is a legal firm that offers assistance on family law, criminal law, personal injury, and marital settlements. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment!


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