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AttyCBradford
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 591
Experience:  Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
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PLEASE: FOR 5_STAR ONLY! THANK YOU! Hi! Its been a while,

Resolved Question:

PLEASE: FOR 5_STAR ONLY! THANK YOU!

Hi! It's been a while, but my ex-wife (not sure if she counts as ex-wife until the divorce decree is signed, but if certainly has felt like this for a while) SIGNED THE DIVORCE PAPERS TODAY IN MY LAWYER'S OFFICE. Yay!. (I guess that would be her consenting to the entry of a judgment of divorce, based on the terms in the post-nuptial agreement and stipulation of settlement. She also finally signed off on the stipulation of settlement) My ex-wife is currently operating with a lawyer pro se, who had looked over everything and told my ex it was ok to sign. The only thing neither of us had seen until today was the revised judgment of divorce, prepared by my attorney. He needed to revise it based on the final terms of the stipulation of settlement. As my attorney explained it to me, this proposed judgment of divorce that an attorney prepares is essentially a summary of the most important points of the settlement, but need not include each and every tiny point. Because the post-nuptial agreement and stipulation of settlement are set as part of the judgment, as I understand it. My ex-wife, who signed in my lawyer's office without an attorney present, because she was pro-se, got in a huge huff because some items in the stipulation were not found in the judgment of divorce. She is going crazy in emails to me, saying that she is sure I am trying to screw her somehow.

I discussed this with my attorney, (who has made some mistakes before, though usually on details, not the law) and I am just asking for a second opinion on whether everything he told me is accurate. This judgment of divorce, as he explained it to me, is essentially a summary of the terms of the settlement. And it sounds as though it is somewhat subjective as to what gets included and what doesn't. Then the judgment is reviewed I guess by a clerk and ultimately the judge. And my attorney explained that my ex-wife has 10 days to file a counter-proposed judgment, which as I understand it would be just haggling over language, and that then the judge would decide which of the two proposed judgments to use.

I guess my biggest concern is whether the hell I have been going through is finally over. I mean I want to be sure that now that my ex-wife signed the post-nuptial agreement and a stipulation of settlement, and signed that she is consenting to a divorce based on those, that the exact language of the proposed judgment is just something of a formality. Just a question of language. But my biggest concern is that the divorce is definitely going through. In other words, that my ex-wife can't come back now and say she changed her mind and doesn't want a divorce under the agreed upon terms.

And if I can put my mind at ease about that, then I want to be sure that I don't have to suck up to my ex-wife the way I have been for the last 5 months, taking her abuse, not saying a word, to keep her calm until she signed the divorce papers. Also, she just walked away with a $55,000 check that was specified upon signing the stipulation of settlement. So I am just trying to make sure that there is nothing my ex can do to change her mind now, and that it's just a matter of waiting for the judge to sign the final divorce decree (with possible changes to language in the judgement of divorce along the way.)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttyCBradford replied 1 year ago.

AttyCBradford :

Hello I would be glad to assist you. A proposed judgment is usually submitted with ALL the terms of the dissolution. Generally when there is a Post Nup or a Marriage Settlement Agreement ("MSA") they judgment will indicate that there is additional documents attached that should be considered the "FINAL JUDGMENT."

AttyCBradford :

As for the process of it being submitted, your attorney is correct, it is submitted the court clerk who reviews it to make sure that everything, all the steps that must be done in the divorce are done, and that the MSA is proper in form and then sends it to the judge for signature

AttyCBradford :

The judge will review it and ultimately sign it. Your soon to be ex would have the right to file a counter judgment, but if she SIGNED it, it should be submitted as a Settlement Agreement for Judgment, we call these Stipulated judgments

AttyCBradford :

Based on the documents she has signed, it appears that your divorce is going to be over soon, once you have those documents signed by a judge. However, I would make sure that the terms of the settlement are included with the judgment or you could run into problems alter on

AttyCBradford :
Customer:

All of the major terms of the settlement are in the judgment. I think what my ex-wife is upset about is that the fact that she gets all of the property wasn't in the judgment, but I think my lawyer didn't include that because the deeds have already been revised and the property has already been transferred to her name and again, all of that is specified in the post-nuptial agreement which is attached to the judgment.

Customer:

So just to be 100% clear, at this point my soon to be ex-wife cannot derail the divorce itself? All she can do is propose a different judgment of divorce?

AttyCBradford :

If its specified in the post nup and ATTACHED to the judgment there is nothing to be worried about. No... yes, she can just propose a different judgment, but I don't even see her doing that since she signed off on everything.

AttyCBradford :
Customer:

So does that mean I don't have to suck up to her any more? I can choose not to respond to her emails? I can stop helping her with her business (which I have done just to keep her happy during this process -- I'm not getting paid for it for sure and nothing specifies I must help her in the settlement).

Customer:

And no matter how mad she gets, the divorce goes through and there's nothing she can do about it?

AttyCBradford :

You are done! As long as the divorce goes through then it is final. If she really wanted to contest it she would have to establish why the judgment should not be entered, which will be hard since she signed it

Customer:

There is one last issue. Part of the settlement specified that by February 1 I must purchase a $1,000,000 life insurance policy to cover the sum of my support payments over the next 10 years. (So if I die, my ex-wife still gets paid.) I have just today discovered that since I am living permanently outside of the country no US life insurance company will cover me. Also, since the income on my taxes is only $11,000 , no one outside of the country will write me such a policy. What would I be expected to do in this case?

AttyCBradford :

Can you get a life insurance policy outside of the US? If so that is what I would suggest. I am not sure how you would comply with such a provision, its seems like its a void provision as spousal support obligations would not continue if you died

Customer:

My point is, I cannot get covered outside the U.S. because I would need to show something like $100,000 per year income at least to get one. Now if I just do nothing, and wait for my ex-wife to ask about it, I will simply tell her that I discovered I can't get one. As I understand it, she would then need to hire an attorney and make some kind of motion to get me to comply? Is that right? And then I would hire an attorney to show that even though I made a good faith effort to comply, no one will cover me? Which I could prove by the emails from insurance companies saying they won't cover me?

AttyCBradford :

Yes she would need to file a contempt motion to get you to comply and odds are your attorney that you hire will be able to prove that you made the effort and that you COULD NOT comply, and its not that you were not willing. To prevail on a contempt motion your wife would have to show three things: (1) there was a valid order, (2) you were ABLE TO COMPLY, and (3) that you knowingly failed to do so. She won't be able to prove point 2

AttyCBradford :
AttyCBradford, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 591
Experience: Criminal Defense and Family Law Attorney serving California Statewide
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