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lwpat, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25386
Experience:  Practicing family law attorney
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More than 8 years ago it was the final day of a divorce proceeding.

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More than 8 years ago it was the final day of a divorce proceeding. The terms of the divorce were written up but the attorney for my wife wanted to put in an addition.
The addition was that my ex would receive 1/2 of the social security benefits for my two sons during the times they lived with me. Residential custody was to be divided in such a way that I would have the boys for one year and my ex would have them for another year. I initialed the "add on" The add on was written by hand.

Now since, soon after, I found that this was illegal and there was mediation on this and during mediation--it was decided illegal. In any event my ex is bringing this up--saying I owe her many thousands of $. One of my defenses is that while my ex states we had an agreement on this--I deny we ever had such an agreement. Why would I want to enrich my ex at the expenses of my two boys?
[ a side problem is that for years we thought the "add on" read that my ex would get 1/2 of the boys social security benefits while I was custodial parent and I would get 1/2 when she was custodial parent]\

My question is how to "fight" this representation that we had an agreement? [there are other ways to fight this but for this] --I am interested in how to show this was not some kind of preagreement?
Thank you for your question and for using JA. Please click accept so I will receive credit from JA for my time.

Also noted the "add on" was not what we all thought for these years

That is your argument, that the add on is ambiguous and does not accurately reflect the true agreement between the parties. The true agreement is shown by the "course of dealing" between the parties over a number of years. You would also use the doctrine of estoppel, the doctrine of laches, the doctrine of waiver and claim that it is now prejudicial to try and enforce at this late date. All of these are affirmative defenses that you will need to set out in your answer if she tries to take you to court to collect. Based on your post it appears that you have an excellent defense to any payment.
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