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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My final divorce decree was signed by Judge on May 24, 2013.

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My final divorce decree was signed by Judge on May 24, 2013. I just found out all kinds of things I didn't know about when I sign it. Is there anything I can do?
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry to hear this. Is the decree different from what you signed, or you didn't read it when you signed it but now have had an opportunity to review the language? Please respond as my answer to you would differ substantially based on how you reply to my question to you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I read and signed. But now I found out the reason for the divorce was a lie. I need to find out how can I fight back.

Thank you for your follow-up, Caroline.

The information I will likely provide you with may not be favorable, so I ask that you do not blame the proverbial messenger. Generally speaking a divorce decree once signed is fully binding. The divorce itself is also binding and final.

If you learned information that was officially disclosed in the decree but you only read about it now, that is generally not a reason or ability to fight against the decree. The courts see that as your obligation to review prior to signing so any surprises or changes, provided those were not made after you signed and agreed to the decree, are not going to be modified or removed.

You can potentially fight the decree if additional information specifically relevant to the decree or to the property distribution is found after signing AND it was intentionally withheld from you or otherwise misrepresented before you signed. For example if you find out that your ex hid a $50,000 account that was not part of the marital split or the decree, contesting the order is valid. If you found out that you divorced and claimed "irreconcilable differences" but after signing you find out that the other spouse committed adultery, it is not a good reason to modify the order.

Please know that I do not enjoy giving unwelcome news but I have to provide you with the best information available. As I do not know what you found to be a lie I have attempted to provide you with best examples on either end so you can decide on your next step. Should you decide to contest please retain counsel--a divorce decree generally has only about a 15% chance of being modified or successfully challenged, so you do need professional assistance even at the best of times.

Good luck.

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