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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-07-2015, 12:07 PM
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Question Changing a signed seperation agreement?

Hello all! Could use some advice. Sorry if this has been asked recently, I am not very good at using the 'search' tool.

I have a signed separation agreement affective last Nov. In this agreement, my ex agrees to allow me to pay off ~5k loan sporadically, when I can, and no set monthly payments were arranged. I am paying the max child support, no spousal and other bills etc. I am paying what I can each pay towards this loan, so far so good.

I have no problem paying. I am paying.. it seems I am NOT paying fast enough and she wants the remainder of the ~5k paid faster than I am able to. --Like lump sum asap which would cause me to have to get my own loan #fail

She is threatening to hire a lawyer and 'settle up' before serving me with (what I thought would be very simple) divorce papers (no lawyers needed as per my lawyer lol)

Question: Does she have rights to just up and change her mind and 'demand' that I pay up? I don't think so, but I wanted to check with the resident experts in this stuff.

Thanks to all for any tips. I will consult my lawyer also on this one question if I have to, but I'm hoping to just stick to the agreement and see if she decides to try legal action. (Oh, the agreement also says mediation before lawyers, but apparently this may have been overlooked by her)
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:35 PM
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When you say you have a signed separation agreement, was it signed by both of you with signatures witnessed (by a commissioner for oaths or by a notary)? Did you both have legal advice drawing up the agreement? Did you file it with a court? If the answers to all the questions are "yes", she can't just change her mind on the contents of the agreement. However, she can seek a change to the agreement itself. You can either both agree to change the agreement, or she can hire a lawyer and seek to have a court change the agreement. The latter way is time-consuming and costly, so she's probably just bluffing. If the amount concerned is less than $5K and you are making progress on repaying it, I think the be strategy is to tell her that you are complying with the existing agreement, you do not agree to the changes which would be necessary in order to require you to pay a lump sum, but if she wishes to discuss further, you are open to mediation as per the agreement.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
When you say you have a signed separation agreement, was it signed by both of you with signatures witnessed (by a commissioner for oaths or by a notary)? Did you both have legal advice drawing up the agreement? Did you file it with a court? If the answers to all the questions are "yes", she can't just change her mind on the contents of the agreement. However, she can seek a change to the agreement itself. You can either both agree to change the agreement, or she can hire a lawyer and seek to have a court change the agreement. The latter way is time-consuming and costly, so she's probably just bluffing. If the amount concerned is less than $5K and you are making progress on repaying it, I think the be strategy is to tell her that you are complying with the existing agreement, you do not agree to the changes which would be necessary in order to require you to pay a lump sum, but if she wishes to discuss further, you are open to mediation as per the agreement.
Yes to all of your questions. Official, legal, signed dotted and sealed Thank you so much for your advice!! I think she's upset about something else (she has been mad at ME since SHE walked out lol) Again, Stripes, I really do appreciate this!!
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:37 PM
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I think you are safe
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:54 PM
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Did you file it with a court?
Why do you have to file it with a court if you and your 2 lawyers signed it?
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:57 PM
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^^ That just makes it extra-special-super-legal. It's probably adequate if it was witnessed and if both parties had independent legal advice.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
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^^ That just makes it extra-special-super-legal. It's probably adequate if it was witnessed and if both parties had independent legal advice.
Hmm...well I like extra-super legal with a cherry on top thanks! Can FRO enforce an agreement that isn't stamped with a court order but signed by IDA and both parties?
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:13 PM
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Once she finds out a lawyer will probably charge her thousands of dollars to get the rest of the $5k you owe her back faster, she'll likely change her mind.

Something you could do though, would be to figure out what the minimum or average payment you've been able to make is, and offer to pay that amount on a regular basis, instead of having it vary. Then she would have a more reliable number to budget with, and a fixed end date to predict. She might like that.

That way, if she still does take you to court, you can show that you tried to negotiate fairly with her and she continued to be unreasonable.
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