Once You Execute the Agreement

Mace Greenfield Client/Litigant/Pro Se Information

In a divorce scenario, once you execute the agreement, it is more often for better or worse than the marriage vows themselves:

Too often over the years I have encountered former spouses who executed a settlement or separation agreement only in the hope of their spouse taking him or her back. So he or she gave up the farm, giving up more than 50% of the marital assets and not keeping 100% his or her separate property, and paying more in spousal and or child support than he or she is required by law. All it told your spouse was that you have no backbone, making the odds of being taken back even less. But now he or she is in an agreement he or she cannot live with or up to, this person gave up too much and is more often than not, stuck


Too often over the years I have encountered former spouses who executed a settlement or separation agreement not knowing that many of the provisions are NOT required by law and now are paying more than he or she should. Paying a share of extra curricular activities, dance lessons, horseback riding lessons, teen tours, and more. Years later, with new expenses and less income, that former spouse cannot keep up with these obligations.


Well, if it is written correctly, there is probably nothing you can now. So, before you enter mediation, meet with a competent attorney and learn your best and worst case scenarios, as well what a judge would most likely do based on the facts you represent. Know your rights, before you start to negotiate. Know that once you sign the agreement, you are bound by it and probably will be stuck with it. Have the agreement reviewed by a competent attorney before you sign it. Be sure whether or not the law would mandate what you are agreeing to.


In some cases, where you agree to pay for more than the law requires for your children, the agreement does not state it is a deviation and you can commence a plenary action to vacate the child support provisions and have it redone based on the law. But in those cases where it is labeled a deviation and does state why, you will be stuck. So think carefully before you agree to pay extras. You are always free to pay extra voluntarily, but once put into an agreement, you are too often stuck even if you find it hard to live up to later.


By “competent attorney” I mean an attorney who mostly practices this area of law.