He refuses to sign separation agreement


Hes trying you, Have him served with custody and child support papers that will make him get a attorney (something he probably don’t want)then he will be begging to sign a agreement that you propose(not him)believe this, If you tell him there will be no agreement and you want child support and you want the courts to deal with it , (HUMMM) you will see how quick he shifts gears. And don’t let him bluff you.


I agree with fatherdoright, and if I’m not mistaken you cannot legally agree to not pay child support, no matter who signs what in front of whom. You still retain the right to sue him later for support, including back support, perhaps this is his trepidation. But too bad. And do the math: If your child is 4, then you hav fourteen years left of possible support. If he only pays $250 a month, he’ll have to pay a total of $48,000 by age 18. Plus, he will have to pay daycare expenses and insurance premiums (if he’s employed, the courts will make him pay for it) plus incidentals like orthodontia, camp, music lessons, etc. So unless he’s willing to belly up to the bar with about $100,000 I’d pass.


Trust me, I know how much he is trying to weasel out of. The attorney I spoke with tells me to let him sign the agreement (if he is willing) that gives me sole custody, which he has previously agreed upon (with me not asking for a child support order). Then, pursue child support…good idea??


Any terms in a separation agreement regarding child custody and child support are not binding on the court. This means that the court is able to make its own idependent determination on these matters. Your agreement may say ‘x’ gets primary custody, but the court can award primary custody to ‘y’ if it so chooses. Not a whole lot you can do in this case.

Now, in all likelihood, the court will consider the terms of the agreement as evidence of the parties’ intent at the time the agreement was executed. There’s a good possibility the court will continue - via its custody order - the terms of a successful custody arrangement. Child support is a bit dicier. The court is supposed to give presumptive weight to the amount of child support specified in a separation agreement. Either party can attempt to rebut the presumption, and the court will then have to decide on the proper amount of child support.

Do not delay in initiating a court action that establishes child support. It is much more difficult to collect retroactive support (you need to present evidence of actual past expenditures, and you need to show that those expenditures were reasonably necessary) than it is to collect support on an ongoing basis.


So, even if he signs the separation agreement now, when it comes times for the divorce, he can buck on me? That is what I am gathering. He can at the divorce ask for a different custody arrangement and drag it out again? Is this true even if it is agreed the the separation agreement become part of the divorce decree?


He can ask for anything he wants. Getting what he asks for is another matter entirely.

I’m not sure how the court would handle a situation in which one side wants the separation agreement incorporated into the divorce decree, and the other side doesn’t. I do know that the court will not - or should not - create a custody situation that is not in the child’s best interest. The court gets to use its “broad discretion” in custody matters when determining exactly what the child’s best interest is.


Do all you can to resolve the issues by agreement. Set a reasonable deadline in your mind for having it signed. Once you have exhausted all of your efforts to get him to be reasonable and your deadline has passed then file a lawsuit. Some folks just can’t get things finished until they have some pressure applied. Good luck.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
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.


GOOD NEWS!!! He has decided to sign the agreement!!! We go on Wednesday to sign. I am so relieved. Thank all of you for your advice. Putting the pressure on him and threatening court and child support really got him to re-think fighting me so much. So, on Wed. I will have sole custody of my lil one! Thank you all again!


I need some help. My ex and I are separated and we have a 4 year old child together. He agreed to give me full custody of her in exchange for a monetary payment and not pursuing child support. He agreed to this twice now and I have been to the lawyers office and began the process of the separation, but when it comes time to sign the agreement, he refuses. He always wants to put another provision in it. He is asking for ridiculous things to be put in the agreement. What do I need to do??? Talking to him and trying to work and reason with him is just not doing the trick. I am at the end of my rope.