Ex not sticking to separation agreement


#1

My wife and I have been separated for about 5 months. She suggested the separation, used her lawyer, and outlined in the separation agreement a very fair way to split up the bills. She makes about 30% more than I do, and we had a lot of debt, mostly incurred by her (which she admitted).

Now that I am seeing someone, and there have been indications I may have been seeing this person before the separation, she has told me that she cheated before the separation, and is seeing someone else now as well.

I frankly don’t care if she cheated. She however, has become very vindictive, saying that if she knew I was cheating then the bills would be divided very differently and I would be paying her alimony. I don’t want the expense and hurt to my 2 children that going to court would cause, so I’ve tried to give into her need for more money by giving her 80% of the income tax return, helping her with fixing things at her house, and so forth.

The big problem is that there is a consolidation loan we had for credit card debt, that my parents co-signed. In the separation agreement, it specifies a dollar amount that each of us is to pay, with the intent being that we split the bill evenly. Now, she is refusing to pay her part of the bill. She doesn’t care if it affects her credit, and says if I take her to court over it, she’ll make sure I wind up paying her money because I cheated - says she made up the story about her cheating to try and hurt me. Can I force her to stick to the separation agreement?


#2

Separation Agreement is enforcable and she needs to follow it. I would send her a strongly worded letter to the points of which she is violating it (just the facts) and then give her a time limit to fix her mistakes before filing for a breach of contract.

If she cheated she wouldn’t be able to get alimony anyway.


#3

The separation agreement is the separation agreement. It is a binding private contract between two parties. Courts are reluctant to change this once it’s been established and tend to rubber stamp such agreements in the divorce final…

…unless the affair(s) were discovered by the parties after the separation agreement was signed. THen, one could petition that new evidence has come to light which should change the agreement and ask for alimony. But since her income is 30% more than yours, either she’d owe you alimony unless she could prove an affair by you in which case, she wouldn’t be liable for alimony. If you could prove her affair before separation, and she cannot prove yours, then you could most likely successfully apply and receive alimony from her.

Having said all that, it doesn’t mean that there’s no trouble. If you did have an affair, she could sue the 3rd party for Criminal Conversation, and possibly AA if you dated before the separation, and vice versa. If your wife cheated before the separation AND YOU HAVE PROOF, then it is pretty much a detente because you could sue her significant other too. Likewise if she’s sleeping with him now and you get proof, you could sue him for Crim Conv. All of this will take serious money, though, even tens of thousands.

Erin will guide you better on the ins and outs of this, but this is all taken from what I’ve read in case law.


#4

Your dating history, and hers are irrelevant at this point as between the two of you. Your wife is bound by contract to pay the debt as outlined in the agreement. You may sue her for breach of contract, and if your agreement has a clause providing for it, she will be required to pay your attorney’s fees if you prosecute the action successfully.
Your wife cannot make an alimony claim against if there is a waiver of alimony in the agreement, and in any event she makes more money that you do, and is not entitled to alimony.