Do it yourself divorce with signed agreement?


#1

I want to file for absolute divorce on my own, but the catch is, my ex and I have a signed, notarized property settlement agreement that I want to “attach” to the divorce decree…thus getting it signed by a judge. Right now, it’s not enforceable unless I take him to court for breach of contract. From my understanding, if a judge grants my divorce with the “attachment” of my separation agreement, then if he defaults on what it contains I have the ability to sue him and have him pay legal fees. He would then be in contempt of court because he’s in violation of a judge’s order. Is that correct? He makes 4 times as much as I do and I don’t have the money to come up with for a retainer.


#2

The course of action you need to take is to have your separation agreement incorporated into the divorce judgment. You will need to attach a copy of the agreement to your divorce complaint and ask the court in your request for relief to incorporate the agreement into the judgment.
Once incorporated you will have the ability to file what is called a “motion to show cause” in the event your ex is in violation of the terms. If a court finds him to be willfully noncompliant he can be held in contempt of court.
I would advise you to at least schedule a consultation with an attorney who can read over your agreement to ensure it is in your best interests to incorporate the agreement, and that you did not waive your right to do so in the agreement.