Goofed Up and Need Advice

Dear Lighthouse3:

Greetings. If the separation agreement is signed by both of you in the presence of the notary…and if it contains the correct clauses about recission, etc., then he cannot reopen the agreement and you are safe no matter what he learns about your behavior. Once a separation agreement is signed, 99.9999% of the time it is ironclad and cannot be changed. So, even if he learned that you were cheating, it would not matter to the enforceability of the agreement. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I have been separated from my spouse of 12 years for about 10 months. The primary issue (from my perspective) on the break-up of the marraige revolved around his long history of alcohol dependency. He would probably give you other reasons, and perhaps none of that matters for this question. The fact is that we grew apart, and both wanted to end the marraige. We did negotiate a separation agreement with a local attorney skilled in family law. She represented me, but we split the cost. He waived his “right” to have his own attorney review.

I began a relationship with someone else prior to the separation agreement being signed. Big goof-up, I know. He did not know about the relationship when he signed the agreement. My attorney also did not know about it. He now suspects it and really could probably verify it pretty easily.

My question is: Even though the agreement is otherwise fair to both of us, I am wondering how vulnerable I am as we move toward divorce.
We both waived alimony and access to each other’s retirement benefits
(my income is higher as is my retirement). He pays modest child support (I reduced what the calculator specified because I felt sorry for him and frankly, I felt I could afford it). If he verifies my relationship, can he now re-claim alimony or otherwise re-open the agreement?

Thanks for your advice. By the way, the separation agreement seems to be very thorough and well-prepared.