So he is wanting to change the property division based upon a unilateral mistake.
There are multiple basis's upon which to invalidate an agreement:
Mutual Mistake - When there is a mutual Mistake of Fact with respect to the subject of the contract, the subjective intention of the parties is evaluated by the courts to determine whether there had been, in fact, a meeting of the minds of the parties.
If the mutual mistake significantly changed the subject matter of the contract, a court will refuse to enforce the contract. If, however, the difference in the subject matter of the contract concerned some incidental quality that has no (or negligible) effect on the value of the contract, the contract is binding, even though the mistake altered or removed what had been the incentive to one or both parties to enter the contract.
Unilateral Mistake - Ordinarily, a unilateral mistake (i.e., an error made by one party) affords no basis for avoiding a contract, but a contract that contains a typographical error may be corrected. A contract may be avoided if the error in value in what is to be exchanged is substantial, or if the mistake is caused by or known to the other party. Unilateral mistakes frequently occur where a contractor submits an erroneous bid for a Public Contract. Where such a bid is accepted, the contractor will be permitted to avoid the contract only if the agreement has not been executed or if the other party can be placed in the position that they occupied prior to the contract. If the mistake is obvious, the contract will not be enforced, but if it is inconsequential, the contract will be upheld. The mistake must consist of a clerical error or a mistake in computation, as an error in judgment will not permit a contractor to avoid a contract.
Mistake of Law - When a party who has full knowledge of the facts reaches an erroneous conclusion as to their legal effect, such a mistake of law will not invalidate a contract/agreement or affect its enforceability.
Property division in a divorce in Massachusetts's is based upon equitable principals - not law.An equity court
or court of equity
is a court
that is authorized to apply principles of equity
, as opposed to law
, to cases
brought before it.
Courts of law apply a strict standard while courts of equity apply justice.
Given that a property division in Massachusetts or alimony
can be modified based upon a substantial change in circumstances - you can also modify the property division.
So you would have to say that she inequitably got more of the marital assets than she should have at the time of the property division/distribution based upon unilateral and mutual mistake at the time.
You could petition the court for a modification of the property division.Please ask for "Law Pro" if you have any further future questions!
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