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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My wife and I agreed to separate maintenance agreement (MI)

Customer Question

My wife and I agreed to separate maintenance agreement (MI) three months ago. At the time, and leading up to that time, my spouse led me to believe that we were going to stay married, live together and continue counselling and grow our relationship. The separate maintenance was only to separate assets, not to divorce or live separately. Well I was misled and feel that under significant emotional duress I was intentionally misled. Within three weeks of the judgement she suggested that I move out of our new house in a few months when I finish my degree, then later said she wanted to start seeing other people. During the separate maintenance she was concerned about disclosure, and promised to stay together if we avoid disclosure. Yes, my folly! Nonetheless, can our case be re-opened?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
If, and this is a difficult hurdle to get over, but if you can prove Fraud in the Inducement---showing that she defrauded you into agreeing to the Maintenance Agreement and that absent her fraud you never would have done so, then you have the grounds to file a Motion to set aside the judgment based on fraud. This is not an easy thing to prove and a local family law attorney with a full and complete understanding of the facts and potential evidence in this matter is almost a must if you are to have a chance at succeeding at this attack on the otherwise rock solid contractual agreements.
Unfortunately, emotional stress/duress is not relevant as a basis by which to have a contract set aside. Duress sufficient to set aside a marital contract of this sort would have to entail threats of physical harm to you or a loved one if you would not agree to sign the agreement. So, based on the facts that you have set out, you would have to attack the judgment based on the issue of Fraud.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2015,