A property settlement agreement (PSA), sometimes called a marital settlement agreement, is the document that itemizes what each spouse will receive when a divorce is final. The document is customized to the needs of the divorcing couple, and it can include a division of furniture, property, savings accounts, trusts, and/or life insurance proceeds. It also outlines each spouse’s financial responsibilities in a divorce such as paying shared debts or alimony obligations.
What Should Be Included in a Property Settlement Agreement?
Under Rhode Island law, PSAs are considered a contract between the divorcing spouses. This means, the court may not be able to modify portions of the agreement, including those regarding alimony and property division. For this reason, it is important to be thorough when creating a PSA, since any oversights or vague language can cause legal disputes in the future.
A property settlement agreement should provide clear information on:
- Distribution of assets. The PSA should clearly indicate how much each party will receive of all marital funds, real estate, trust funds, and personal property.
- Division of debt. The document should divide shared debt (for example, credit cards and car payments) and assign each debt to the spouse who will be responsible for paying it.
- Alimony. The document should state how much a spouse will receive in support payments and the length of the obligation. If there will be no spousal support, the PSA should acknowledge that the support has been waived.
- Insurance concerns. A PSA should address who will be covered under each spouse’s health insurance, as well as who will remove proceeds from life insurance claims.
- Tax payments. Each spouse may be assigned a portion of federal and state taxes on property that will be divided or dissolved during the divorce.
- Retirement accounts. Spouses may be entitled to a portion of a partner’s pension, 401k, or other retirement account distributions.
Our family law attorneys can draft a property settlement agreement that will provide for you and your family for years to come. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online contact form to learn more about your options.