Approximately 5 weeks ago, my soon-to-be ex and I sat down with a mediator and negotiated a settlement, one very similar to others we had discussed between ourselves in the past. Both of our attorneys were present. As I understand it, the mediator has been doing this sort of work for many years, is extremely well thought of, and highly educated. He informed us, with our attorneys, that he was not there to give legal advice.
After signing the agreement, my husband now says that the mediator “mislead” him and made statements about recent cases that he (the mediator) is unable to document. He further states that the mediator’s statements had a significant influence on his decisions to compromise…on certain issues. He states that he signed the agreement under “false pretense” and “duress”.
Bottom line is that he has not complied with the agreement and apparently plans to appeal to the judge at the upcoming hearing to finalize the agreement.
My husband sent this email to me: I had no worries about signing the agreement. I did it with reservations, but I also knew that for the contract to be valid, there could be no false pretense. That is basic contract law. If (mediator’s) statements were true, then the matter was closed and we were done and didn’t have to resume later. If his statements were false, then I have the necessary recourse to void the agreement. That is why I didn’t stop mediation or refuse to sign the agreement until (mediator) produced the case law. It was irrelevant when it was produced, just so it was produced at my request as he stated. Contracts are not valid if there is duress, or false pretense. It’s very simple.
I’m very interested to hear your thoughts on this matter. My husband is a classic narcissist, and has and continues to do anything and everything to get his way. He is also extremely intelligent and crafty. His attorney and her assistant were in the room with my husband throughout the entire process, with an online computer at their fingertips. He was in no way forced to sign the agreement, that day or any other. In addition, his attorney has now asked to be dismissed, and has been legally granted dismissal as his attorney.
What sort of chance will he have of getting a judge to overthrow this agreement? I informed him that I personally listened to the mediator’s comments/suggestions/etc. but turned to my own counsel for advice.
Your thoughts will be most appreciated.