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spousal suport

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  • #1
    Did each of you have independent legal advice?

    Aside from that, it would go down to whether or not it would be "unconscionable" for the agreement to stand.


    • #2
      I'm in the middle of working with my lawyer for my separation agreement (to be submitted for divorce as soon as it's done) and she has told me that one of the reasons for doing full disclosure (and separate legal advice) and looking at assets/debts pre-marriage, and then at each other's financials during marriage (to decide/agreed upon if equalization is required) would be good grounds for 'initially no ss' to stand later if reopened. I was told that it could be reopened by my ex...but if due diligence was done at the initial separation/divorce it wouldn't have to be done again, and the judge/court would use the initial work as reference.

      I'd love to hear from some others to find out if that is true ? Good question


      • #3
        I'm also VERY interested in this. My spouse and I have a great relationship (well as great as it could be I suppose), and she refuses to go see a lawyer even after telling her I'll foot the bill. I'm worried that we sign a separation agreement that says no spousal support (and other things) and then 2-3 years down the road she contests it claiming she didn't realize what she was signing.

        If she contests it, how much of a risk is someone taking NOT getting independent legal advice?


        • #4
          It isn't worth the paper its written on. There is lots of precedence which makes this so.


          • #5
            Having had legal advice might help your arguments, but is nothing close to a guarantee.

            Reopening (changing) an agreement happens because either 1. both parties wish to renegotiate, or 2. a judge allows it. In order for a judge to allow changes, it would go to a hearing where both parties argue merits of their positions. Then a justice decides.

            You can never prevent an agreement from being reopened/changed. You are only in control of:
            1. what you are prepared to agree to
            2. whether you can live with the conditions of agreement
            3. rationalizations and documentation of why you agreed to what you did
            4. your defense of your positions should the agreement be reopened

            In this forum we often see hopes expressed that an agreement is the ultimate solution to separation and divorce. Often it is...because both parties want it that way. But, you can't eliminate the human elements of hurt, anger, regret, etc. For those reasons an agreement might never be 'final'.



            • #6
              So, I'm still unsure of whether it is worthwhile forcing my spouse to seek independent legal advice. As you say, there's no guarantee that will count for anything, but many people here on the forums highly recommend it for precisely this situation -- to ensure that there's little chance of your spouse claiming incompetence 5 years down the road.

              It sounds like not doing it could get you into trouble, and doing it doesn't guarantee that you wont get into trouble, but would offer significant ammunition should the situation ever arise. As such, it sounds like there really isn't much choice...that ensuring independent legal advice should really always be done if one spouse is fearful that the other might change their mind later in life.


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