Marital settlement agreement

me and my spouse signed a marital settlement agreement in 2008. we didn’t turn it in to the court yet and we signed another one this year 2018 but it wasn’t notarized the settlement we signed in 2008 was signed by me,my wife and my attorney as a witness can i still use them for our divorce settlement

Without knowing the content of the two Marital Settlement Agreements, I’m not fully in a position to give an opinion. In general, Marital Settlement Agreements are binding and enforceable from the date of signing, but the fact that you signed a second one seems to indicate that neither one of you wanted to enforce the first one. You are definitely best off having an attorney review both documents to guide you in whether or not pursuing the validity of the 2008 agreement is a good idea.

Once ex-spouse remarries (divorce filed in California) is she still entitled to the amount of Military retirement that was awarded at time of original divorce?

Yes, she is still entitled to the same amount of military retirement.

My ex-husband is refusing to pay for an unexpected medical bill. In short, I signed my son up for a social skills group and was assured that it was free and covered by insurance. Turns out, I was wrong, and now there’s a bill for almost $2,000. I asked him to pay for half, and he isn’t, saying that he only approved of it because it was free, and it’s not necessary. Is he right? What can I do to collect. We share 50/50 custody and rights, even though I don’t allow my son to go over there anymore 50% of the time. That’s another forum question…

Assuming that you have a court order to equally divide uninsured medical expenses, you will want to follow the procedures outlined in form FL-192, which is called the Notice of Rights and Responsibilities. If he fails to reimburse you, then you can take him to court to request the reimbursement.


Thanks for the quick reply.

My ex-husband is now offering to pay me $20 a month until the medical debt is paid off. At that rate, i wouldn’t get the half he owes until nearly 4 years has passed! Do I have any recourse to pursue in getting him to pay the full amount now? Or do I have to accept the conditions he’s presented?

According to our Marital Settlement Agreement, “each party shall pay one-half of expenses related to child care” and “each party shall pay one-half of uncovered medical, dental, therapy, or other health care costs incurred by or on behalf of the minor child”.

He’s claiming since this was optional therapy and that i presented it to him as being “fully covered”, that he can pay incrementally- so long as the payment is eventually made in full. This seems totally unreasonable!

Can I take him to court to get the full amount due from him, or bro I have to accept the conditions he presented?

  • Brenda

You can absolutely take him to court to get the full amount due, but the judge can order a “reasonable” payment plan in his or her discretion, although you could also ask for interest on the owed amount.

Is there a standard Martial Settlement Agreement form? I met with my Military JAG (military attorney) and they provided me with a template. He wasn’t sure if there was a more up-to-date form and I can’t seem to find one online.

He also mentioned that I must submit the MSA with my petition and for her to NOT respond when she’s served. This way the MSA becomes the default and more likely (but not always) will become what the judge decides to grant. Is this true?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

No, there isn’t a “standard” Marital Settlement Agreement. There are plenty of available templates out there, but in general, a full divorce agreement resolves the following:

  1. Child-related issues. This includes custody, visitation, and child support.

  2. Spousal Support. An agreement should state the amount and length of time support is paid.

  3. Property Division. Property includes everything you own and not just real estate. Specifically, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement/investment accounts, jewelry, clothing, timeshares, and business interests are all considered property.

  4. Debt allocation. This involves everything owed, from tax debt to credit card debt to retirement loans.

  5. Reimbursement claims. Does anyone owe the other person money for something other than support? For example, if one person paid off a community credit card debt, does the other person need to reimburse for one-half of the amount paid?

  6. Attorney fees. Who pays for them?

I don’t personally submit MSAs with my petition in an anticipated default situation. I will ask the Court to order the specific terms that I set forth in the future MSA: however, they’re formatted differently. A Petition means just that: to ask. The Marital Settlement Agreement is written like an actual order. So for example, if I’m asking for the house to be awarded to Spouse #1, I will put in the Petition something to the effect of : Petitioner requests that the real property located at 123 Main Street, Anytown, California be awarded to Spouse #1 as sole and separate property. In the MSA, it would be written as “The real property located at 123 Main Street, Anytown, California is awarded to Spouse #1 as sole and separate property.”

As for whether or not your spouse responds, that is your spouse’s decision. You can certainly finish the divorce via a default process, but that is not your choice.