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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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I am in a dispute with my ex about the home we have together. When I l

Customer Question

I am in a dispute with my ex about the home we have together. When I left 14 months ago he would not let me get anything out of the house until I signed paper relinquishing my rights to anything in our home. The document was never notorized by a notary. I had no choice because I was blackmailed into it. How will this affect the division of martial property. I feel that I had no choice he made me sign this under diress.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
Hello there -
Just Answer is NOT a free website -- there are hundreds of excellent experts in their fields who answer questions on this website everyday for millions of satisfied customers. The prices charged by Just Answer are a mere pittance compared to what you would be charged by a local lawyer for the same information. Then, the experts are paid even less than the amount charged by Just Answer and the expert is ONLY paid if the customer indicates that they are satisfied with the answer that was given to the customer's question. And, even then, when a customer says they are satisfied, the customer can still turn around and request a full refund of all charges if the customer makes the request within 30 days of the question being asked and answered (and when you request a refund, any small payment made to the expert for answering the question is removed from the expert's payment amount for that month). So, while the website is NOT per se, "FREE" -- there are at least five different ways that a customer can get a question answered and not pay for it. THe two most common ways are to press a negative rating OR to ask for a refund after pressing a positive rating. In either situation, the expert is paid nothing (regardless of whether the question was answered correctly and regardless of the amount of research and time that the expert has placed into reviewing the question, interacting with the customer and answering the question). I know of no other company or service, either in real life or on the internet, where a customer can indicate satisfaction with the answer to a question, the expert is then paid a small amount for the time spent, and then the customer can turn around within a month and request a FULL REFUND for the question -- simply because the customer decides that they do not want to pay for it. It is extremely not fair to the expert who took the time to assist that customer, but that is the policy of Just Answer and the customer is always made happy. I tell you all of this because I assure you that this website is completely above board and not a "bunch crape" as you stated in your question.
As a show of good faith, I WILL answer your question that you posted above -- even though you clearly indicated that you do not want to pay for it. However, I will forward this to customer service and make sure that you get a refund after you review the answer, just as a sign of good faith. This means that I will not receive any payment at all for answering this question and I do not think you can go to very many websites where you can get a licensed attorney to answer your legal question for FREE.
To answer your question, you are correct that this document you signed will not be held against you in the divorce proceedings -- so long as you tell the court that you were locked out of your house and were not permitted back inside to even get some clothes unless you signed the document he presented to you, and thus "Your honor, this was signed under duress and is not relevant in these proceedings nearly a year and a half later. I would never give up 100% of my rights to every piece of property I currently own unless I was forced into signing the document." (THe fact that it was not notarized is not relevant -- most contracts are written and signed without witnesses or a notary and typically the only contracts that legally require the signature and affirmation of the notary public are real estate documents that are to be recorded in the public records, such as deeds or mortgages). Under the circumstances of a rocky relationship at the time and now current divorce proceedings, the court is very aware that one spouse might try to put the other spouse under duress to do things that the spouse would not otherwise normally do. In short, the court does look for instances of duress -- and it takes very little to show the court that duress. Your testimony alone should be good enough to convince the court to throw out this document. Once the document is tossed, the marital split of property is on a 50/50 basis (however, if one spouse can prove by showing receipts that he or she purchased a certain piece of furniture and that spouse wants to take that piece of furniture, then the court will most likely permit such claims on certain pieces of personal property located in the house -- otherwise, any other property that does not have clear ownership to either of you will be equally divided between the two of you).
I do hope that the answer to the question gives you the information that you need to use in court in order to have the document tossed out as not enforceable (not a contract). I also hope that you realize that this website is not a bunch of "crape" -- there are talented experts in every professional field offering answers for very small amounts of money to persons who would otherwise not be able to speak to a local attorney due to charges of more than 200 dollars an hour in most of the USA. Please do NOT press a negative rating (poor or bad service) below in order to get a refund -- simply do not press any rating at all and I will make sure that this is forwarded to customer service and you will receive a refund of any amounts that you were charged to post your original question above.

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