What is a Marital Settlement Agreement?

kane county divorce lawyerIf you have ever watched a television show or movie about divorce, you may assume that all divorce cases involve dramatic courtroom showdowns. However, this is a far cry from reality. Most divorce cases settle before they go to trial. Less than five percent of divorce cases actually go to trial. In this blog, we discuss the role of the marital settlement agreement in Illinois.

Settling Divorce Issues Before Going to Trial

Divorce trials are stressful and expensive. In most cases, settling the divorce and avoiding a trial is the better option for everyone involved. (Though there are still some cases in which a trial is necessary). 

A Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) contains the agreement that the spouses have reached regarding divorce concerns such as asset division, spousal maintenance, the allocation of parental responsibilities, and parenting time.

Spouses submit the MSA to the court for approval. Usually, the court will accept the MSA and adopt it and incorporate the terms into the final Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. However, the court may not accept the MSA if the agreement is “unconscionable,” meaning it is grossly unfair. The court may also modify provisions related to children, such as child support or parental responsibilities based on the children’s best interest.

How Can I Reach a Settlement and Avoid Trial?

If you are getting divorced, you are probably interested in resolving the case with as little contention, stress, and expense as possible. Fortunately, there are several avenues through which spouses can pursue a settlement. Family law mediation has helped countless couples resolve divorce issues. Collaborative law or collaborative divorce is another alternative resolution method many spouses find to be effective. Both spouses are represented by attorneys during a collaborative divorce, but the spouses, their attorneys, and any other participants sign a collaborative agreement promising not to go to trial. Your lawyer can help you explore the pros and cons of each of these options and decide what resolution method is best for you.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

At MKFM Law, we understand that many divorcing spouses want to settle their divorce quickly and move on with their lives. Our St. Charles divorce attorneys are skilled in negotiation as well as litigation. We can sit down with you and discuss your divorce goals as well as any obstacles that may hinder your ability to reach those goals and develop a plan for resolving your divorce case as effectively as possible. Call our office today at 630-665-7300 for a personalized case review and consultation.


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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree