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Have you heard the acronym MSA tossed about? Have you wondered what on earth is this document and why does it sound so crucial to your divorce?  Well, in short, it’s your divorce agreement or what is called in family law your Marital Settlement Agreement.

Entering into an MSA means that you and your spouse have settled your divorce issues and there is no longer a need for a Trial. Instead, an Uncontested Divorce Hearing takes place where your divorce becomes final.  Most litigants view settlement as a viable option but it does not come without patience, negotiation and compromise. This is especially true when disputes over children exist.

Entering into an MSA with the advice of an attorney may be the best option for you.  In fact, most celebrities choose this route so that they can avoid the spotlight of a trial.

It is wise to make the MSA as comprehensive as possible. For example, if you are aware that situations will change you may address that contemplated situation within the MSA. In New Jersey, the MSA is incorporated into your Judgment of Divorce and is given the same treatment as any other court order.

If you have concerns about a settlement agreement that your spouse has drafted or you wish to submit a settlement agreement to your spouse, please call us at (908) 879-9499.

Paternity testing has become more and more common in the field of family law.   Most people would assume that it is used most commonly by a named father who is trying to disprove paternity.  However, that is not always the case these days.  It is also not uncommon that a putative father will demand paternity testing to prove that the baby is his so he can pursue parenting time with his child.  Of course, once paternity is determined, child support is also a consideration.

One of the most interesting paternity cases in the media in recent years was the case of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby.  After her death, no less than five men claimed to be the father of her daughter.  Although Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole’s lawyer, was listed on the birth certificate as the father, paternity testing performed after Smith’s death showed that Larry Birkhead was the baby’s father to a 99.99% certainty.  The child, Daniellelynn, now resides with Mr. Birkhead.

Other celebrities have had women designate them as the father of their babies.  Paternity testing showed some were, some weren’t.  Marc Anthony, for example, was subjected to paternity testing only to prove that he was not the father of the baby.  Mick Jagger was charged with paternity twice- testing showed him to be the father of both children.

If you are a putative father interested in either proving or disproving that a child is biologically yours, or a mother looking to prove paternity for child support, or disprove paternity so as to block parenting time to a non-biological father, call Iandoli & Edens, LLC @ 908 879 9499 to find out all your legal rights and responsibilities.