Divorce Settlement Agreement for Virginia

State of _____________

_____________ County


Court Address:

_____________
_____________, _____________ _____________


Petitioner: _____________


Co-Petitioner/Respondent: _____________


Filing Attorney/Pro Se Party:

_____________

Phone: _____________

Email: _____________



Case / Docket No. _____________     


Division: _____________     


Courtroom: _____________     


Judge: _____________     







       [ABOVE FOR COURT USE ONLY ]



______________________________________________________________________

MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT



This MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT is entered into on _____________ (the "Agreement") by and between _____________ and _____________ (collectively the "Parties" and each a "Party" to this Agreement). Each Party swears that the terms contained in this Agreement are true and fair in all respects, and, subject to court approval, the following terms represent the Parties' wishes for the final settlement of all matters related to their dissolution of marriage, including all property rights, the divisions of assets and debts, all rights to support and maintenance, and all other rights and claims that could arise from the marital relationship or otherwise between the Parties.

WHEREAS, each Party has executed this Agreement in good faith and upon an accurate and complete disclosure of all financial, property, and other matters related to this Agreement;

WHEREAS, each Party has had the full opportunity to be counseled by an attorney of his or her choosing regarding this agreement and his or her relevant legal rights; and

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises and covenants herein contained, each Party promises to abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement and to fully perform its obligations in good faith.

I. General Terms

  1. Date of Birth. _____________ was born on _____________ and _____________ was born on _____________.
  2. Marriage. The Parties were married on _____________ in _____________, _____________.
  3. Separation. The Parties physically separated from living together on _____________.
  4. Residency and Jurisdiction. _____________ currently resides at _____________, _____________, _____________ _____________ and has resided in _____________ for _____________. _____________ currently resides at _____________, _____________, _____________ _____________ and has resided in _____________ for _____________. As such, _____________ has established residency in _____________ County, _____________, and _____________ hereby consents to the Court's jurisdiction over this matter.
  5. Cause for Dissolution of Marriage. _____________
  6. Employment and Income
    1. _____________. _____________ earns a total gross monthly income of from the following income sources: _____________
    2. _____________. _____________ earns a total gross monthly income of from the following income sources: _____________
  1. Division of Assets. Any asset transferred hereunder to one of the Parties will be transferred free and clear of all right, title, or claim of the other Party, subject to any then-existing liens, encumbrances, or other restrictions that the receiving Party agrees to assume, pay, and indemnify the non-receiving Party against related loss. Furthermore, each Party agrees to cooperate in performing any action necessary to bring about the agreed disposition of the assets as within the required timeframe and as described in this Agreement, including completing and signing any documents required to transfer or sell title to an asset.
    1. Timeframe for Transfers. Unless otherwise stated below, the Parties agree to make all transfers or other dispositions of the assets as stated herein within 60 days of the final divorce decree, if feasible. If a transfer or other disposition is not feasible within 60 days, then the Parties will act in good faith to complete it as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter, but in no event later than 120 days from the final divorce decree. If a Party refuses or fails to sign a document to transfer or otherwise dispose of an asset as agreed upon in this Agreement, then the final divorce decree will operate to transfer title or otherwise dispose of the asset.
    2. All Other Property. The Parties agree that any and all tangible and intangible property owned by one or both spouses not included in this Agreement will hereafter belong to whichever Party currently has physical possession of any such tangible property or has documented individual ownership rights over any such intangible property.
  1. Division of Debts. Each Party agrees to cooperate in performing all actions necessary to effect the division of debts as specified herein, including, without limitation, signing required documents and taking steps to remove the other Party's name from obligations that the Party has agreed to fully assume. Unless otherwise stated herein, each Party agrees to remain solely responsible for any debt it incurred in its own name prior to the date of marriage, during marriage, or subsequent to the date of separation. Each Party agrees to indemnify the other Party and hold it harmless from any loss, claim, or judgment that the other Party may suffer due to failure of the Party to satisfy its obligations on the debts stated herein.
    1. No Debts to Divide. The Parties have no debts to divide in this Agreement. Therefore, each Party agrees to remain solely liable for the debts incurred in its own name prior to the date of marriage, during marriage, or subsequent to the date of separation.
  1. Spousal Support. The Parties agree that neither Party will receive alimony, spousal support, nor spousal maintenance from the other Party, and each Party hereby waives, releases, and relinquishes all right or claim to receive such support from the other Party at any time in the future.
  1. Full Disclosure. Each Party represents that it has made a full and accurate disclosure to the other Party of all its assets, liabilities, income, and expenses, whether held jointly or individually and based on current and accurate financial documentation provided to the other Party.
  2. Mutual Release. Unless otherwise stated herein, all income, investments, and other assets acquired on or after the date of this Agreement will be the sole property of the Party that acquires such assets. Unless otherwise stated herein or in a signed writing executed hereafter, each Party hereby waives, releases, discharges, and relinquishes the other Party and his or her representatives, successors, and assigns from all right, title, and claim to an interest in the following: the income, investments, and other assets acquired hereafter by the other Party except as may be required to collect amounts owed in the event of a default by the other Party under this Agreement; rights of inheritance in the other Party's estate; rights to any elective share under the other Party's will; rights to manage the other Party's estate as an executor or administrator; and any other marital rights that the Party now has or may have in the future, including the right to receive proceeds as a beneficiary of the other Party's life insurance policy.
  3. Mediation. In the event of a dispute concerning this Agreement, the Parties agree to work together in making a good faith attempt to find a mutually agreeable resolution. If the Parties' negotiation fails, the Parties agree to first seek to resolve the dispute through mediation by a professional mediator agreed upon by both Parties. If mediation also fails after the Parties have both made a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute in this manner, either Party may petition the Court for a binding resolution on the dispute. Nothing in this Agreement will be construed so as to limit the Parties' rights in enforcing the terms of the Agreement as stated herein.
  4. Cooperation. Each Party agrees to fully cooperate with the other Party in taking any action necessary or reasonably expedient to execute and carry out the terms of this Agreement, including signing, acknowledging, and delivering any documents that the other Party reasonably deems necessary or expedient to giving full force and effect to the terms stated herein.
  5. Remedies. This Agreement and any breach thereof is enforceable in contract in addition to any remedies that may be available under the Court's final judgment, at law, or in equity.
  6. Bankruptcy. In the event that a Party files bankruptcy, the Parties intend that obligations of this Agreement be non-dischargeable, specifically including the division of marital debts and assets and any obligation to indemnify the other Party.
  7. Assignment. This Agreement is binding upon and inures to the benefit of the Parties and their executors, administrators, beneficiaries, heirs, successors, and permitted assigns, but only to the extent that such assignment is permitted by the terms of this Agreement, if at all.
  8. Federal, State, and Local Taxes. Each Party will be individually responsible for paying the amount of federal and state income taxes required by law, as well as all personal and real estate property taxes that may be required by federal, state, or local law, as a result of any and all transfers of assets resulting from this Agreement. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the Parties will file joint federal and state income tax returns until the tax year in which a final divorce decree is entered.
  9. Court Costs. Any court costs or fees, including any filing fees, will be borne by the Party that incurs such costs or fees, or otherwise as agreed by the Parties in writing.
  10. Attorney's Fees. Unless otherwise agreed herein, each Party agrees to bear its own attorney's fees.
  11. Entire Agreement. This Agreement, including any attachments, exhibits, and amendments hereto, represents the entire and singular agreement between the Parties pertaining to the settlement of marital property, finances, and the other matters specified herein. Any prior agreements, promises, or representations not included herein are void and of no effect. This Agreement may not be modified, and the rights stated herein may not be waived, except by express written agreement between the Parties.
  12. Reconciliation. In the event of a reconciliation and resumption of marital relations between the Parties, the terms of this Agreement will remain in full force and effect until such time as the Parties expressly agree otherwise in writing.
  13. No Waiver. The failure or delay by a Party to enforce a right or privilege under this Agreement will not operate as a waiver of such right or privilege or of any other term of this Agreement, and any single or partial exercise of a right or privilege will not preclude the further exercise of that or any other additional rights or privileges. A Party's waiver of a particular right or privilege on one occasion will not prevent that Party from enforcing the same right or privilege in the future.
  14. Severability. Should any provision of this Agreement be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, that provision shall be considered removed from this Agreement; however, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable according to the intentions of the Parties. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
  15. Construction. In this Agreement, the masculine, feminine, and neuter genders will be interpreted to include each other, as will the singular and plural. Headings used herein are for convenience only and will not be interpreted to give any meaning to their respective provisions.
  16. Governing Law. This Agreement will be governed and construed according to the laws of the State of _____________.
  17. Terms Concerning Minors. The Parties acknowledge that any term of this Agreement concerning the care, custody, or support of minor children must be approved by court order before becoming legally effective and may also be modified by any court with competent jurisdiction at a later time.
  18. Tax Advice. The Parties acknowledge that any attorney involved in this matter is not a tax expert and that each Party has had the full opportunity to seek advice from an independent tax professional in order to fully evaluate the tax consequences of this Agreement.
  19. Court Submission; No Merger. The Parties agree to submit this Agreement to the Court for approval and for such other action as the Court may deem just and proper. Either Party may offer this Agreement into evidence before the Court, and the Agreement may be incorporated into entry of a final divorce decree; however, this Agreement will not be merged into such judgment but will survive and be binding upon the Parties.

By signing this Agreement, I, _____________, represent and swear that I have read the entire Agreement; that I have had the full opportunity to seek advice from independent legal counsel concerning this Agreement prior to signing; that I am signing freely and voluntarily; and that all terms stated herein are fair and reasonable and not the product of fraud, force, or undue influence.


________________________ Date: __________
_____________
_____________
_____________, _____________ _____________
Phone: _____________
Email: _____________


NOTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENT

STATE OF _____________
COUNTY OF ________________

On ________________, before me, _____________________________, personally appeared _____________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to within this MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT and acknowledged to me that he or she executed the same in an authorized capacity, and executed the instrument by signing his or her signature.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.

Print: ________________________     My Commission Expires: ________________________

Sign: ________________________       [Affix seal]

NOTARY PUBLIC

By signing this Agreement, I, _____________, represent and swear that I have read the entire Agreement; that I have had the full opportunity to seek advice from independent legal counsel concerning this Agreement prior to signing; that I am signing freely and voluntarily; and that all terms stated herein are fair and reasonable and not the product of fraud, force, or undue influence.


________________________ Date: __________
_____________
_____________
_____________, _____________ _____________
Phone: _____________
Email: _____________


Instructions for Your Marital Settlement Agreement



Going through a divorce can be a stressful and difficult process. Luckily, our marital settlement agreement makes this process as straightforward and painless as possible. These instructions will help you complete your marital settlement agreement and explain your options when filing for divorce, sometimes called filing for a "dissolution of marriage."

Completing Your Agreement

Division of Marital Property and Debts

One of the main things you will accomplish in your agreement is deciding how to divide the assets and debts you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. Typically, property that was received prior to the marriage or after separation will remain with the original individual owner. However, you may choose to split up your assets any way you want, whether owned jointly or individually. If you owned a home together, this will often be the largest asset that must be divided. You and your spouse can agree to let one of you keep it, or you may choose to sell the home and divide the net profits. If any one spouse retains title to the marital home and a mortgage exists on the property, that spouse must refinance the mortgage in his or her separate name within 60 days of receiving a final divorce decree.

Although you may specify how you want to divide any assets you wish in the agreement, you do not need to list every item the two of you own, unless you want to. It is sufficient to simply list the items that have significant monetary or sentimental value. Small knick-knacks don't need to be included unless you just want to be thorough or one of the spouses really cares about them. The agreement states that all property not specifically listed will remain with whatever spouse has physical possession of it (if it is a tangible asset, such as a boat or animal) or documented ownership rights (if it is an intangible asset, such as a bank account or stock).

Alimony

State law varies as to what kind and how much alimony or spousal support is permitted. If you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin), then an award of alimony in your case may be prohibited or greatly limited. The rationale for this is because the spouse in need of support will already be compensated more from the marital property than he or she would in non-community property states. For this reason, it is best to try to limit what you and your spouse agree on in the agreement as far as the amount and duration of the alimony to be paid.

Alimony Duration

Again, states vary as to how long alimony support may last. Typically, courts prefer to award alimony on a short-term basis, say one to three years, until the other spouse can become self-sufficient. However, some courts will allow for longer support if warranted under the circumstances. Therefore, keep in mind that the court has the power to alter the alimony amount and duration.

Name Change

Our form allows you to specify whether a spouse wants a name change. Although you are not required to change your name when you get a divorce, many people choose to do so as part of starting their new life. Having the judge approve your legal name change will save you the additional hassle and expense of having to do it later on in a separate procedure.

Executing Your Agreement

The final step is to have both spouses sign the agreement in front of a notary public. If you and your spouse live far apart, or are not on speaking terms, one spouse can sign in front of a notary and then mail, email, or fax it to the other spouse, who will also need to sign in front of a notary. Both parties should retain a copy of the fully executed agreement for their records.

Filing for Divorce

Attorney vs. No Attorney

Although a divorce attorney can be helpful, they are not required. Many people opt to handle the divorce on their own or through a neutral third-party mediator. Divorce attorneys are most useful when there are issues in the divorce that are hotly contested by the spouses, such as child custody, alimony, or the division of assets. However, if both spouses are willing to work together to negotiate a settlement, then you can probably get away with not using an attorney. If you do have a divorce attorney, you can still save yourself expensive legal fees by creating this agreement yourself and then having your attorney review it, instead of having the attorney draft it for you.

Note that state law varies greatly as to the specific requirements for initiating a divorce case in family court. For help figuring out the specific forms and procedures you should follow, you should contact a family or divorce court administrator, often the Clerk of Court, at the court that you will file your case in.

Grounds for Divorce

All 50 states now grant divorce based on no-fault grounds. A "no-fault" divorce is a divorce based on the consent of both spouses. The spouses are simply claiming that their marriage is irretrievably broken due to irreconcilable differences. Many states have completely done away with fault-based divorce and now only allow no-fault divorces. These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are filing your case in one of these states, then your agreement will automatically specify that you are seeking a no-fault divorce.

Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce

If you are not in one of the states listed above, then you will have the option of specifying whether you want a divorce based on fault or no-fault grounds. If you think that you and your spouse can come to an agreement on the terms of your marital settlement agreement, then it will be easier for you to request a no-fault divorce. This is because no-fault divorces do not require you to go through the tricky process of trying to prove that one of the spouses is at fault.

However, there are some reasons why a fault-based divorce could be more desirable. For instance, courts may take into account the fault or bad behavior of one of the spouses when determining the following: how to divide the marital property; which spouse will have physical and legal custody of any minors; and how much alimony should be awarded, if any. Also, note that it is possible for the spouse that is at fault to not contest the grounds for divorce by admitting his or her own fault. Common fault-based grounds for divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruel and inhumane treatment, habitual drunkenness or drug use, and felony conviction.

Residency Requirements

Most states require that one or both spouses have resided in the state for a certain amount of time before they can file for divorce in that state. The residency requirement is usually six months to a year. However, review this chart if you are unsure of whether you meet the residency requirement in your state. You may also search online or call the county Clerk of Court if you need more help figuring this out.

Basic Steps for Filing Your Divorce

  • First file your petition for divorce or dissolution of marriage. You can obtain the petition either on your state's family law website or by calling the Clerk of Court. Be sure to check with the clerk to see if any financial affidavits or other attachments are required to be submitted with your petition.
  • Serve your spouse with the petition and a summons. This is called "service of process" and it will officially put your spouse on notice that you have initiated the divorce proceedings. Check your state laws to know how to properly serve someone. Most states allow for service via certified mail, return receipt requested. If your state is one of the few that does not allow for service by mail, you will need to get a law officer, private service company, or a disinterested adult to serve the papers in person on your spouse.
  • Your spouse will need to file a response either accepting or rejecting the statements in your petition. Then your case will be scheduled for a hearing.
  • While waiting for the hearing, you and your spouse can finalize the terms of your divorce settlement agreement to make sure all the terms are agreeable. You will usually submit your Divorce Settlement Agreement before the hearing to give the judge time to review its terms.
  • Attach copies of any court orders already issued pertaining to your marriage or to matters of child support.
  • At the hearing, if the judge finds the divorce settlement agreement fair and there are no other issues to decide, the judge will grant your divorce. If the divorce is contested by one of the spouses or the judge finds the marital settlement agreement to not be fair, the process may take longer and you may be required to attend multiple hearings.
  • Again, it is a good idea to contact a family or divorce court administrator, usually the Clerk of Court, to get information on the specific procedures required in your state.
Individual Marriage and Divorce

Divorce Settlement Agreement

A divorce settlement agreement is used to formalize all the important terms of your divorce, including issues of child custody, alimony, and the division of your debts and assets. These issues must be resolved in order to get a divorce, and LegalNature's step-by-step guidance will help you do this quickly and easily.

By asking you simple questions, our sophisticated form builder will create a customized legal divorce settlement agreement that is tailored to your specific needs. In addition to the standard terms you can choose to specify how you want to handle child support, visitation rights, tax exemptions, legal name changes, and more!

LegalNature's divorce settlement agreement gives you the most comprehensive protection available while still providing you the flexibility you need.

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