Marital Settlement Agreement in Washington
Divorcing couples in the state of Washington must reach agreements about many aspects of their shared lives before their divorce case can be resolved. These will be set forth in their marital settlement agreement and become part of their final divorce judgment.
Items covered in a marital settlement agreement
Your marital settlement agreement is a legally binding document that outlines all the details of your divorce. It will include:
- How you will divide your marital property and belongings
- How you will divide your marital debt
- How you will share child custody, including parenting time
- Who will pay child support, how much, and for how long
- Whether spousal support (also known as alimony or spousal maintenance) has been agreed upon, how much, and for how long
- Other matters that affect you as a couple, such as joint investments, a shared business, medical insurance, or other issues
Your settlement agreement will have a significant impact on your future, and you and your spouse will have a lot of things to discuss and process to make sure it’s fair to both of you.
How to file an agreement
Once you have hammered out the terms of your divorce settlement agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it becomes part of the paperwork required for your divorce.
Your marital agreement will be accompanied by other necessary forms, depending on your situation. These can include:
- Petition for Divorce (Dissolution)
- Confidential Information Form
- Your proposed parenting plan, if you have children
- Your child support payment order and related worksheets
- Financial declarations
- Other related documents
You can find copies of the required documents here.
Use our online Marital Settlement Agreement tool to easily build a contract between you and your spouse that details your divorce agreement.
You will want to make sure all the terms of your settlement agreement are in writing and all required forms are properly completed, signed, and notarized. You will then submit and file these documents with the county clerk where your divorce is being processed.
Both you and your spouse will attest that you understand and agree to the terms of your agreement, so make sure you have read it carefully and understand what it says and means. Once it is approved by the court, your marital settlement agreement becomes part of your legally binding final divorce decree.
Marital settlement agreement FAQ
Will the court review our marital settlement agreement for fairness?
The court’s priority is a resolution, so even though they review the paperwork for proper completion, you can’t rely on them to make sure your agreement is fair. After all, you have already agreed to its terms. It is your ultimate responsibility to review all your documents and address any terms you feel are unfair before it gets to this point.
That said, if the court finds something in your proposed agreement to be highly unfair, they may send it back to you and your spouse for amendments.
What is the difference between marital assets and non-marital property?
Marital assets, sometimes called marital property, is a term referring to any assets and debts the two of you incurred while married. Non-marital property, commonly referred to as separate property, includes assets and debt you entered the marriage with or any gifts or inheritances that were directed to you individually after you were married.
Crafting the perfect marital settlement agreement with the perfect division of assets can seem like a daunting chore, especially when you’re going through so many other things. Let Hello Divorce guide you through the parts of your divorce you don’t want to do alone. Schedule a free 15-minute call to learn more.