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Can I get copies of our Marital Settlement agreement?

October 3, 2017

When someone partakes in a legal proceeding, he or she is often deluged with a large amount of information contained in any number of official documents. This is especially true of those going through a divorce. One such document a divorcing individual might complete and need to retain for his or her records is a Marital Settlement Agreement. This brief piece discusses what a Marital Settlement Agreement is, as well as the procedures one must follow to obtain a copy of it.
What Is A Marital Settlement Agreement?
This legally-binding outline is, under most circumstances, a mutually agreed upon arrangement dictating how critical issues surrounding the soon to be ex-spouses affairs are to be settled. Such issues include, but are not necessarily limited to division of financial assets, property ownership, debt repayment, whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other, child custody and visitation rights. The agreement may also contain information about how ex-spouses will conduct activities such as applying for loans, formulate retirement plans and go about paying income taxes.
Do All Divorcing Individuals Need A Marital Settlement Agreement?
Typically, these agreements are reached by separating spouses who are experiencing an amicable split and/or those who are able to compromise and do not the intervention of a court or judge to resolve the aforementioned issues. In addition, this documentation clearly spells out a separating couple’s plans and can greatly expedite the time necessary to complete the overall divorce process.
How Does One Go About Obtaining A Copy Of His Or Her Marital Settlement Agreement?
Divorce proceedings are handled by the state and/or municipality where the spouses reside. When a couple files for divorce, the court in question gives the case a number, which appropriately enough, is then referred to as the case number. Though it is important to commit the case number to memory, it can usually be located at the top of any document the court might have sent a separating spouse.
When an individual seeks copies of his or her Marital Settlement Agreement or any other papers related to the divorce, the case number will likely be the first bit of identifying information a separating spouse will need to provide. In certain instances, the court might also require that the case’s name be provided. Typically, the case moniker is the full name of both spouses.
Once the appropriate identifying information has been located, a divorcing spouse should contact the Clerk Of the Court. Often, the Clerk and his or her staff stores, transcribes and remits court-related documents. Requests can often be processed several different ways. Among the most common is through the postal service by submitting a self-addressed, stamped envelope, personal identifying information like a copy of a driver’s license or passport and whatever fee may be required to the court’s mailing address. Usually, requests can also be made in person at the court’s offices. Some jurisdictions might allow requests to be processed online. One should contact the appropriate court, learn what options are offered and choose the request method that best fits his or her circumstances. Upon receiving the Marital Settlement Agreement, one should make additional copies of it and place these papers in a secure location like a bank or personal safe.

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