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S. Kincaid
S. Kincaid, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2512
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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My wife filed for divorce in March 2012. The divorce is still

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My wife filed for divorce in March 2012. The divorce is still not final. There was a settlement agreement that I signed then reneged on for just cause. The last two documents filed in court were a motion to compel compliance with the agreement and then a motion saying that the agreement had been signed by both parties and the motion to compel was moot. My attorney has withdrawn and I have had some communication via email with her attorney but he has been non-responsive for the past three weeks. I am in no hurry to settle since my wife has to pay for my health insurance. My question is, "is there a downside to doing nothing and just waiting to hear from her attorney?".

Steven Kincaid :

Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Steven Kincaid :

Yes. Unless the court has invalidated the settlement agreement, you are bound by its terms and if you do not comply, you could be found in contempt of court. You need to file a motion to invalidate the agreement if you want to ask the court to release you from your responsibility to abide by the agreement.

Steven Kincaid :

When you say you "reneged," what exactly did you do? Did you file any document canceling the agreement? Or did you just inform the other party that you no longer agreed to the settlement agreement?

Customer: I never returned a signed original, just an electronic copy. I informed her attorney that I would not. Abide by thee agreement. The agreement. Has not been filed with the court. I have offered to negotiate a new agreement.
S. Kincaid and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have supplied more information and am a little confused. Hope to hear back from you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I never returned a signed original, just an electronic copy. I informed her attorney that I would not abide by the agreement. The agreement has not been filed with the court. I have offered to negotiate a new agreement.

Did the electronic copy have a photocopied signature on it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes it had a signature. I know that a person who does not keep promises is reviled but I want you to assume that under these circumstances what I did was justified. I certainly believe that it was. The electronic copy did have a notarized signature. I did not provide the original signature, which seems to really be a problem for the plaintiff's attorney, and the agreement has not been filed with the court. As I mentioned before, he filed a motion indicating that an agreement had been signed. I am aware that I may be asking for more advice than I have paid for. Your guidance in that regard will also be appreciated.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To be concise, I have two questions:


1. Do I need to do anything now or just wait for her attorney to act? and


2. Can I compel discovery and mediation at this point?

You can pursue discovery as long as the case is pending, which it appears to be since the divorce has not been granted.

It does sound like it is a problem for the other party that they do not have your original signature on the document. Obviously, a photocopy of a notarization is meaningless.

You are not required to take action but it might be safest to file a declaration explaining that you have not agreed to any settlement and any filing of a settlement agreement does not reflect your agreement or wishes.
S. Kincaid and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have now received a copy of a Motion To Enforce Settlement filed by her lawyer. Do I need to take action like filing a reply explaining my side of the argument?

Yes. You need to file a responsive declaration so that the Court knows your position.