A property settlement agreement or separation agreement in a Virginia divorce is like the world’s weirdest grocery list. It will have a lot of details on it, in odd juxtaposition, and not a single item can be left out or you will certainly regret it later. In a moment of inspiration, we put together this convenient checklist while picking up a few groceries. For clarity, we will chunk these dozen items. Oh! A dozen large eggs are BOGO.
Geography and Time
- In what county will the property settlement agreement be filed?
- Where were you two married (city, county, state)?
- On what date were you two married?
- On what date did you officially separate?
- On what date does this mayonnaise expire?
- Address, title and deed to the marital home
- Value of the marital home
- List lien holders in order (first and second mortgages) on the marital home
- Will one of you buy the other one out and remain in the marital home after the divorce?
- Will the marital home be sold?
- Who will occupy the marital home through the separation and divorce?
- What amount or percent of the mortgage will your wife contribute, and what amount or percent will you contribute?
- Who will pay for taxes, upkeep and repairs on the marital home through the separation and divorce?
- Address, title, deed and value for second home
- List lien holders on the second home
- Who will pay upkeep, taxes and repairs on the second home through the separation and divorce?
- How will the second home be disposed of?
- Is four-for-$3 better than six-for-$5 on canned vegetables?
- List your separate property
- List marital property you ceded to the marriage
- List your wife’s separate property
- List your wife’s marital property she ceded to the marriage
- List your property that is part separate and part marital
- List your wife’s property that is part separate and part marital
- List your separate debt
- List marital debt
- List your wife’s separate debt
- List debt that is part separate and part marital
- Cleanup on Aisle Three
- List sources of any second income you have (a small business, passive earnings, investments, taking online surveys)
- If you own a small business, what will happen to the business after the divorce?
- Will your wife be entitled to a share of the profits from the second income?
- Wait! I have a coupon for that!
Savings and Retirement
- List the exact names, account numbers and current values of all pensions, retirement funds, stocks, mutual funds, 401k or 403b plans, tax-deferred annuities, or other financial devices held by you
- List the exact names, account numbers and current values of all such instruments held by your wife
- How will future earnings, dividends and benefits from these accounts be apportioned between you and your wife?
- Will you pay your wife spousal support?
- What schedule will you follow for spousal support — a single payout, monthly payments with a fixed time limit, or monthly payments with no end date?
- When will spousal support begin?
- By what process can you or your wife alter the spousal support?
- Who will have physical custody of any children resulting from your marriage?
- Will legal custody be sole or shared?
- What visitation schedule will be followed?
- What process can you or your wife use to alter the visitation schedule?
- Who can and cannot pick up the children from school or activities?
- Can the children be left with grandparents or relatives?
- Are some people not permitted to be around the children?
- Will you or your wife pay the other person for child support?
- Child support is usually paid monthly — on what date can the other party expect payments?
- At what age for each child will child support stop?
- Will one or both parents have life insurance policies on themselves in force to provide for the children?
- Who will pay for each life insurance policy?
Children’s Education and Activities
- How will decisions regarding the children’s education and other outside activities be decided?
- Will both parents be able to transport children to outside activities (scouts, art clubs, church meetings, dance, drama, sporting events, music lessons, summer camp) and visit or watch them in spectator settings?
- Will one or both parents be providing funds for each child’s post-secondary education?
- Who will monitor, have access to, or maintain any accounts holding funds for the children’s education?
- Can I combine this store coupon with the manufacturer’s coupon?
- Will you be paying for your wife to improve her skills to become financially independent?
- What schedule of payments will you follow, and how will payments be made? (Directly to the educational institution, to your ex-wife, or to a third-party account?)
- What benchmark will determine the end of such payments: graduation, evidence of licensing or a diploma, or first date of hiring in the new career?
- Will the property settlement agreement be incorporated into the final divorce decree?
- Who will pay for legal fees for court filings, paperwork, investigators or mediators?
- Will you be required to pay a percentage of your wife’s professional legal fees?
- Will she be required to pay a percentage of yours?
- Will fault grounds for divorce be spelled out in the separation agreement?
- Will anybody eat this high fiber bread if I buy it?
Many other items can be added to your checklist, such as health insurance, butter, and tax preparation. Consult the attorneys at The Firm for Men, 757-383-9184, to learn how to put together your ultimate divorce settlement checklist. Contact us today, and buy some milk on the way home.