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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Today I am suppose to sign a marital agreement to finalize

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Today I am suppose to sign a marital agreement to finalize our divorce. We have been married for almost 15 years and have 2 children ages 13 and 11. The father is a surgeon who grosses high 5 figures a month and has very little overhead. I received 4 figures in non modifiable alimony for the 10 years I will receive it, and because of him and his high priced legal team, received no child support. I am a 57 year old stay at home Mom and have been throughout our entire marriage. I also worked in his practice for 2 years without pay to help him build the practice. Even though we signed the original marital agreement in April, my attorney would not put into play his income for 2013, which by then was six figures. the other party wanted to settle out of court, I did not. In the last paragraph of the marital agreement there is a clause that states:

"The parties acknowledge and agree that they have provided the other financial affidavits meeting the requirement of Florida Law Rule 12.285, and that each has had the opportunity to review the financial affidavits and supporting documents of the other, and each is satisfied fully that s/he has sufficient knowledge as to the other's financial condition to waive any further disclosure."

I have stated numerous times I am not satisfied, it took him 10 months to disclose his financials, money was hid and money was spent to pay bills a year in advance knowing it would not count as income. They want me to disclose all the bills I pay in the future to make sure I don't fall behind.

What I would like your opinion on, is that in the future I would like to go back and ask for child support for our children and will signing this agreement with this paragraph, especially the last 5 words "to waive any further discloser" impede my future efforts?

Appreciate your assistance and time, Terry L

Hi Terry,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

If that document says that you will not get child support, and you sign it, you will not get child support. You cannot go back later and request it. You cannot seek more if his income increases. You cannot appeal. And you cannot argue that he did not provide sufficient financial information, because signing a statement that you are OK with the disclosure overrides every single statement you have ever made stating that you were NOT satisfied with the information they gave you. "Waive any further disclosure" should be referring to this proceeding only and not any future requests to modify the alimony after ten years, but you have the option of asking to clarify or change that section so that it is very clear whether you'll be able to request financial information later if you need to.

Since you do not feel comfortable signing the agreement, talk to you lawyer. Ask him to explain why he feels that the agreement benefits you. Neither an opposing party nor an attorney can force a party to sign something against his will. It's possible that you're waiving child support because of the amount of alimony, but that's something that you should know and understand, since you'll be held to the agreement that you make. If they will not clarify, change, or help you to understand why that clause should be in the agreement, you have the option of refusing to sign. But your attorney likely has a reason for believing that the agreement benefits you, and would be in the best position to give advice, as someone with the full picture.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The original agreement, signed in April, states that the wife shall receive said amount of alimony and no child support due to his income which was falsified. My attorney told me I can ask for child support later down the road. Are you telling me I can no longer ask for child support?

If you agree to waive child support, it's waived. There would have to be a clause in the signed agreement that would allow you to seek it later. Otherwise, the agreement should provide at least $1 in support to ensure that it can be modified.

An agreement that is based on fraud can be set aside. So, if you were not aware that he was hiding assets at the time that you agreed to waive child support, you would have the option of seeking to have the agreement set aside and then seek support. But you can't do that if you sign something saying that you're happy with the documentation that you have.
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