Marital Settlement Agreements (MSA) Vs Trial in a Florida Divorce
Marital Settlement Agreements
When couples are divorcing in Florida, frequently they both enter into the process with a desire to split amicably and divorce by way of negotiating a marital settlement agreement. There are many benefits to marital settlement agreements for divorcing couples but it is crucial that you hire an experienced Tampa divorce attorney to ensure your MSA is in your best interest.
Benefits to Marital Settlement Agreements are;
Less Conflict – With the right attitude and a supportive, knowledgeable Tampa divorce lawyer who will negotiate a settlement agreement in your best interest is generally less stressful on our clients than going to trial.
Binding Contract – A marital settlement agreement is a legal, binding contract between the parties. Each party must abide by the terms of the marital settlement agreement at all times. The contract can be modified at a later date if circumstances warrant a modification.
Time – Generally speaking, when couples choose to negotiate the terms of their marital settlement agreement, the divorce can be settled fairly quickly. As opposed to going to trial, marital settlement agreements can speed up the process of finalizing your divorce.
Cost– Depending on the case, having your divorce attorney negotiate a marital settlement agreement is a more cost effective way to ensure that your best interests are protected, while avoiding more costly litigation.
Less Invasive– If you prefer a less invasive process in your divorce, martial settlement agreements are preferred over the litigation process. Because of the scope of what can be litigated in court, it is often a preferred means of settling a divorce between couples especially in high asset divorces or high profile divorces.
Litigating Your Florida Divorce (Trial)
Other couples obviously may enter into the process not willing to negotiate a settlement agreement and believe that a trial would be in their best interest. Some may reach an impasse in the marital settlement agreement process and end up in trial for all or some of the things that must be settled. If you go to trial your Tampa divorce trial attorney must have experience in divorce litigation. Some of the areas to consider in divorce litigation are as follows:
Judge Makes the Decision – If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, the judge retains the right to make the decision for you.
Day in Court . Depending on the circumstances, a day in court to present evidence to a judge that would be preferable to settling is warranted. Divorce trials provide an opportunity to present witnesses, and evidence to the judge who will be making the final decisions on matters of custody, time-share, asset division, child support and alimony.
Appeals/Modifications – If you believe the judge has made an incorrect ruling, you do have an option to appeal in accordance with Florida Law. If you agree upon terms in a marital settlement agreement, there will be no need for an appeal. You can modify certain terms of your final order if your circumstances support a post-judgement divorce modification. This is true whether you settled or litigated your divorce case.
Time – If you want to go to trial, or end up going to trial, you can expect the process to be slower than the marital settlement agreement process. That being said, ensuring that the end result is in your very best interest is what matters most.
Cost of Litigation – The cost of litigation is usually substantially more than choosing to negotiate the terms of your divorce in an MSA. If a couple can negotiate even some of the areas of their divorce, it can be cost effective. If your divorce litigation will include the aid of expert witnesses, depositions and interrogatories, these can increase the cost of your divorce.
Tampa Divorce Attorney Consultation
Consulting with an experienced Tampa divorce attorney about the best way to approach your divorce will help you to determine what is in your best interest. Nilo J. Sanchez & Associates has over two decades of both litigating divorces and negotiating marital settlement agreements for his clients in Tampa Bay. As a top rated Tampa Divorce Attorney, you can rest assured that our Tampa Family Law Firm will focus on every aspect of your case to reach the best possible outcome.
Attorney Sanchez represents clients who need to hire a family law or divorce attorney in Hillsborough County, Florida. If you need a Brandon Florida Family Law Attorney or if you are divorcing in Lutz, Carrolwood or surrounding Tampa Bay locales, we can help.
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