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What if the divorce decree was blatantly unfair but the divorce

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decree was issued more than...
What if the divorce decree was blatantly unfair but the divorce decree was issued more than 2 years ago? This was in the state of Colorado.
Submitted: 4 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
5/6/2013
Family Lawyer: Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney replied 4 years ago
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

At the time this decree was issued, did anyone contest or object? Was the decree knowingly unfair at the time, or did the spouses later found out that it was unfair because that person found out about additional facts or information (or assets) that were not mentioned in the initial decree? Other than the decree being unfair, are there any other grounds or basis for contesting the order? Please advise so I can best answer this for you, thank you!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I was objecting and knew it was unfair at the time AND there was new information that made it even more unfair that came out after the fact. I kind of gave up arguing at the time since I was depressed and had been subjected to verbally abusive treatment from my spouse. I signed the whole with without any legal representation which was my real mistake.


 


In addition to that there was also new information that made it even worse around the valuation of real estate.

Family Lawyer: Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney replied 4 years ago

Thank you for your follow-up, Eric.


The reason I asked is because generally contesting a divorce decree after the fact for being unfair is not really actionable and not likely to be successful. However, attacking the decree on basis of fraud and misrepresentation is quite possible. The difference here is based on the fact that if you can show that there was additional information which was not disclosed that would have materially changed your position toward the decree, the courts may agree to reopen the decree and potentially modify it. Then it is no longer simply a claim for unfairness but a claim for misrepresentation which the courts would see as a valid reason to reopen the claim. The fact that you signed without any sort of legal representation is not really a defense nor would the courts grant you the right to reopen on that basis alone, but if information was being hidden from you, then you have a basis to review. Just please be aware that reopening a decree is both expensive in legal fees and potentially uncertain as only about 15% of decrees get modified upon review. I am not telling you this to dissuade you, merely to provide you with odds so that you can choose to make the most educated decision for yourself going forward.

Good luck.

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Some of the information was misrepresented originally as well. This was information around assets falsely represented as being protected under a prenuptial agreement. How would that fit here?

Family Lawyer: Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney replied 4 years ago

Eric,

So long as that misrepresentation was found after the decree, it can be brought up as grounds. But if you found out about these concerns before the divorce decree was signed, and you signed anyway, it is a non-issue. By signing the decree you would have waived your right to contest since by signing you did just that--the signing was done knowingly even if unfairly to you.

Good luck.

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