"Channe really has your back. Dealing with lawyers and child custody is hard enough, stressful beyond; but Channe and staff really stood strong for me and I got the results I wanted. She totally understood my situation after only one meeting, and was there every step of the way. She also tried to help me keep my cost down. I could not be Happier :-)"
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Santa Barbara Marital Settlement Agreement Attorney

When parties are able to reach an agreement on some, most or all issues concerning property, support and/or children, they may choose to enter a written agreement setting forth their marital property, support payments, and custody and visitation rights rather then leave these issues up to a judge.

Santa Barbara Marital Settlement Agreement Attorney

Such agreements are referred to as “Marital Settlement Agreements” (MSA), which is incorporated into the final judgment, or a “Stipulated Judgment”. Both are written and signed agreements which are then submitted to the court for approval and the judge's signature.

A comprehensive MSA usually provides for all of the following:

  • Characterization of property interests and characterization and division of the community estate (assets and debts);
  • Adjustment of reimbursement claims and income tax issues;
  • Payment of child support, spousal support and attorney fees and costs;
  • Child custody and visitation, including a parenting plan if necessary; and
  • Certain waivers and indemnification agreements between the spouses.

How Comprehensive is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

An MSA is the road map of a divorce settlement and any good attorney will work hard to ensure it represents the agreement of the parties and includes sufficient terminology setting forth the details of property distributions, a time frame for compliance with certain positive acts (called schedules), and terms which are sufficiently clear to allow enforcement by a judge if necessary. In addition to containing every issue in our clients case it will likely contain provisions most don’t expressly agree to, which are necessary to carry out the spirit and intent of the settlement.  

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles we work hard to ensure its clients fully understand the terms and content of the MSA and answer ever questions until you are comfortable that the terms are written the way you agreed. This is important, because when you sign the Marital Settlement Agreement or Stipulated Judgment, IT IS FINAL. This is because, as a represented party and a competent adult, there is no room to change your mind once signed; after which a settlement agreement will then go to the court to have a judgment entered.

The Law Office of Channe G. Coles has experience in creating enforceable marital settlement agreements. We will thoroughly brief you on how California marriage law applies to your situation as well as prepare and file the documents for you. Through marital settlement agreements in California, parties are able to resolve issues in a manner which enables them to have control over their life rather then having decisions imposed upon them by the court, and avoid the costs and time investment of litigation.

To speak to an attorney at the Law Office of Channe G. Coles about your divorce in Santa Barbara County, please visit us online at www.ccsblaw.com or call us at (805) 617-4618 for a free confidential consultation.

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