I have a question for a Virginia Family lawyer regarding the possibility of nullifiying the Separation and Property Settlement Agreement that was ratified by the court January 20th, 2011. I hope it is not to late to do so. I was very (mentally) ill at the time it was drafted, having just been hospitalized for a suicide attempt 2 months prior and released from rehab 1 month prior. To say the least, I was in an abusive relationship for 25 years, 19 of which involved marriage. This was my 9th hospitalization for mental issues and suicide attempts since 2006. I did not understand much of the Separation and Property Settlement agreement due to the shock of treatment, my ex leaving me to die, and the gobs of medication they put me on at the hospital. I was depressed and in a fog as I lost everything, including my husband of 19 years, my kids (with whom I was exceptionally close), my house (which I basically gave away to my ex), my personal effects (he only gave me 3 days to move to my Mom's tiny house, so I took very little), and my precious dogs. I am much better now, since I no longer have to live with the abuse and am on the correct medication. I have also found love again and live with my Fiance. I have fought hard for visitation, and now see my children every other weekend. Recently, when I reviewed the separation and property settlement agreement, I was mortified. I did some research and found that my ex was making $200,000 at the time of the agreement, but my lawyer used the previous years figure of 150,000. He also had a separate bank account which was in the agreement as his and not to be split with me. My lawyer never bothered to find out what was in the account ($160,000) and glossed over it as a standard in these types of documents. I only received $77,000 for the house, which was bought over 10 years ago for $375,000 and has since greatly appreciated in value. I also agreed to the cohabitation clause and my fiancee and I live together and would like to continue to do so. (A friend of mine refused to sign the agreement with the cohabitation clause and was successful). My lawyer acted as if it had to be in the agreement, so I believed him. My lawyer and my ex took advantage of me. They both knew I was mentally ill. I was also under duress. Right before I entered rehab, my ex stopped by the marital home where I was still living and yelled at me for over an hour that I'd better sign the agreement, even though I didn't have my lawyer with me. My lawyer took almost all my settlement money and threatened me with "the judge" as in "if you dont agree with to this, it will have to go before "the judge" and it most likely will not be in your favor. He didn't want to do any extra work and didn't even mention that I could change my name back to its maiden form as part of the divorce. I did as I was told and signed an agreement that was totally unfair. Do I have any recourse? Just as an FYI, I went on disability for my mental issues Jan. 2009.
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