Equitable Agreement Definition: Understanding the Legal Term
An equitable agreement, also known as an equitable settlement or equitable distribution agreement, is a legal term used in family law. It refers to a written agreement between the parties of a divorce or separation, outlining the terms of the division of property and assets. This agreement is intended to distribute the property and assets of the marriage or partnership equitably between the parties.
The concept of “equitable” refers to a fair and just distribution of property and assets, rather than a strict 50/50 split. In an equitable agreement, the judge presiding over the case has the discretion to divide the property and assets in a manner that is considered fair and reasonable based on the circumstances of the case.
In order for an equitable agreement to be valid, it must be in writing, signed by both parties, and notarized. The agreement must also be free of fraud, duress, or coercion, and both parties must enter into the agreement voluntarily and with a full understanding of its terms.
An equitable agreement typically covers all assets and debts acquired during the marriage or partnership, including real property, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and investments. It may also address issues such as spousal support, child support, and custody arrangements.
It’s important to note that an equitable agreement is not the same as a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into before marriage that outlines the financial rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of divorce or separation. An equitable agreement, on the other hand, is entered into after the marriage or partnership has ended.
In conclusion, an equitable agreement is a legal term used in family law to refer to a written agreement outlining the terms of the division of property and assets in a divorce or separation. It is intended to distribute the property and assets of the marriage or partnership equitably between the parties based on the circumstances of the case. To be valid, an equitable agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and notarized, and the parties must enter into it voluntarily and with a full understanding of its terms.