In Missouri, the law encourages divorcing parties to resolve the issue of separating property and debts amicably. Coming to an agreement with your spouse is encouraged, and a signed separation agreement is an easy way to resolve issues of property division, alimony, and more.
If you and your spouse have agreed on the terms of your divorce, a Des Peres separation agreement lawyer could help you correctly document the agreement. Working with seasoned legal counsel from our firm helps ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not agree to an unfair settlement. Reach out to Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to schedule your confidential consultation with a dedicated marital agreements attorney.
What Is a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is a binding document that outlines the terms of a divorce. It usually lists what property and debts each spouse will be awarded and can also outline terms for maintenance (alimony), custody, and child support. Your attorney will later use this agreement to incorporate it into or attach it to a Judgment and Decree of dissolution of marriage.
An attorney serving Des Peres could help you prepare a separation agreement, either as a proposal or with terms you have already agreed on. They could also review and advise you on a proposal or agreement prepared by your spouse. If you disagree with your spouse’s proposal, your attorney could help you prepare a counterproposal.
When Separation Agreements Are Binding
Under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.325, separation agreement terms that divide assets, assign debt, and award alimony are usually binding. The court will uphold these agreements unless they decide the terms are “unconscionable” (extremely unfair) or they discover that the agreement was made without full disclosure between the spouses or if the agreement was made under duress.
For example, if you signed an agreement awarding your spouse $20,000, intended to offset the value of your retirement account, the court would want to ensure that:
- Your spouse knew the value of the retirement account they were forfeiting, and
- The $20,000 was more-or-less a fair exchange for the marital value of the retirement asset.
If it turns out the marital portion of your retirement account was worth a million dollars, the court might find it unconscionable to accept $20,000 in exchange for an asset of that value, even if your spouse understood they were accepting a small sum relative to the value. A separation agreement attorney familiar with the Des Peres circuit court could help you avoid potential obstacles like these.
A Des Peres Separation Agreement Attorney is Here to Help
If you and your spouse agree on the aspects of your divorce, you should contact a Des Peres separation agreement lawyer to help you put your agreement in writing. When a separation agreement is prepared correctly, the terms are usually binding and can help you resolve divorce issues quickly. Consulting with a legal professional before you sign any agreement helps ensure you do not forfeit any property you may be entitled to. If you have any further questions about this process or how an attorney could help you, do not hesitate to contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today.