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How to Draft a Marital Settlement Agreement and Prepare for Your Conference

 Posted on April 11, 2022 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneysCouples have to make many difficult decisions throughout the divorce process, including division of shared property, determining child custody and parenting time, and choosing who will remain in the family home. These choices present a challenge for many spouses, and the process of reaching a mutual decision is often contested. However, once couples have made a joint decision on all of the necessary factors following a divorce, there is another process to follow before the marriage can be fully dissolved. Couples must develop a Marital Settlement Agreement and prepare for a conference with their spouse.

What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

After all of the difficult decisions have been made and agreed upon, couples must solidify the information in what is known as a Marital Settlement Agreement, also called an MSA. This agreement outlines all pertinent information that will make up the divorce decree, a legally binding document that expresses all of the required actions following the divorce. The MSA will include:

This agreement includes all of the decisions made during the divorce processes wrapped up in one legal document. It is essential for completing the divorce process.

Preparing for a Conference

To ensure the MSA is accurate and both spouses have agreed upon its entirety, a settlement conference must be held between both spouses. Typically, both spouses, their joint or separate attorneys, and other necessary people, such as a mediator, will join the conference. Once couples have agreed upon all of the elements of their divorce agreement, the process can continue. The state requires at least one settlement conference be held. If spouses are dealing with a high-value divorce, or there are other outstanding decisions that need to be resolved, more conferences should be scheduled. However, if it is clear that both spouses will be unable to settle during the conference, a judicial conference could be ordered by the court.

During a court-ordered judicial conference, a judge will go through the contested areas of the divorce agreement with both partners. Hearing the opinion of a judge may help couples reach a consensus on aspects of their divorce agreement. This is a preventative step to avoid litigation and trial during a contested divorce. Litigation quickly becomes expensive and time-consuming, taking an enormous toll on both spouses.

Consult a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

The divorce process can be complicated. At Weiler & Associates, Inc., our skilled St. Charles divorce attorneys have years of experience working alongside spouses to resolve marital and divorce disagreements and help partners navigate divorce. If you are looking for legal assistance throughout your divorce, please contact our office by calling 630-331-9110.


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