Separation Agreement in Massachusetts? Here Are Your Next Steps
A separation agreement in Massachusetts is a contract that is meant to settle various outstanding marital issues. The agreement is entered into after marriage in anticipation of a divorce and determines both parties’ post-divorce obligations and rights.
The signed and notarized separation agreement in Massachusetts is required to be submitted to the court for approval before a no-fault divorce is granted. Following the approval of the agreement by the judge, it will become legally enforceable.
The Separation Agreement Attorney’s Role
For a separation agreement, mediation in Massachusetts is probably the most effective option available to both parties. This will not only take out much of the stress from the process, but is also cost-effective because one mediator will draft the agreement for both sides.
While it is not a legal requirement, both parties will have the choice to have the document reviewed first by their separation agreement attorney in Massachusetts before submitting it to the court. Dedicated and knowledgeable divorce mediators will usually encourage both sides to have their separation agreement reviewed by their attorney.
Documents to Show Your Separation Agreement Attorney
To accomplish the process of separation agreement mediation in Massachusetts swiftly and successfully, it is best to prepare and bring the following documents to the meeting:
- A copy of your latest paystub
- W-2 for the latest tax year
- Proof of other income, in any (such as disability, social security, retirement income)
- Form 1040 for the latest tax year, if either party has a rental income or is self-employed
- Details of retirement accounts (including account name and the respective amount)
- Information on traditional pension, if any
- List of checking or savings accounts along with bank name and the amount of money in each account
- Details of credit card debt and any other debts (list the name of the creditor and the amount owed)
- The amount owed on auto loans
- Approximate value of the vehicles owned
- Tax assessed value and fair market value of the house or other real estate which is in the name of either party
- Mortgage amount owed on house or another property
- The number of years that each party has paid into Social Security
- Copy of prenuptial agreement, if any
Health Insurance Issues to Address
In some cases, the court may order that following the divorce an ex-spouse may be permitted to stay on the company-sponsored health insurance of the other party. If your medical insurance sponsored by your employer covers the spouse, discuss with the HR department whether an ex-spouse would be allowed to stay on your health policy after divorce if a Court Order says so.
Expedite a Separation Agreement With a Separation Agreement Attorney
With the assistance of a separation agreement attorney in Massachusetts, your separation agreement would typically get completed in less than two weeks of the first mediation session. It is not uncommon for these agreements to be completed as early as within 24 hours after the initial mediation session.
Only one court appearance will be required in about three weeks following the submission of divorce papers. The probate and family court will schedule the date for it.
Need Separation Agreement Mediation? Call Shapiro Mediation Services Today
If you are involved in a lawsuit that is headed toward mediation, you should speak with an attorney who is trained in this area of the law. Call Shapiro Mediation Services today at (339) 298-7733 to schedule a free consultation with one of our mediators at our Massachusetts or South Florida office, or contact us online.