Re-Opening Separation Agreement

I recently found out information presented during the separation agreement process was not presented in full and is therefore incorrect. Another left out entirely, not even mentioned in the SA, itself, as I was mis-informed of the nature of it. One is a specific item of property, the other is a vehicle; both were pre-marital however my name (maiden) is clearly on both…SA was signed mid-2020, divorced finalized early 2021…can anything be done? While I previously mentioned my concerns about one of these items in question, does not seem my representation at the time cared enough to look into it and based her recommendation to me on this information anyway…the 2nd item, I cannot recall why it was not part of property distribution but from paperwork I found for both, I am CLEARLY listed on both items as co-buyer/borrower, etc. Is there any recourse at this time to recoup this, whether it be in value or the item(s) themselves? Thank you!

You and your ex-spouse can enter into an amendment of the separation agreement to correct any misinformation or missing information.

An amendment must be signed and notarized by both spouses and should be clear as to what numbered paragraph(s) it is replacing/amending.

If the debt/loan that is missing from the separation agreement entirely is significant and would cause a change in the equitable distribution of the property, you can file a court action to have the separation agreement set aside for having learned new information, assuming it was not available to you at the time the separation agreement was entered or was knowingly withheld from you.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank you! I believe the information, for both items of ‘property’ may have been intentionally withheld in their entirety….being one of the items is a vehicle (the other an emotional item of property), I would think this is significant, no? If a court action, to put the SA aside, is filed does this void the entire SA agreement? If I opted to complete an Amendment and my ex cannot afford a lawyer or does not respond, whats the best course of action then? Thanks so much! This is really helping me figure out a direction to take!

If you file a claim in court to set aside the separation agreement, then the separation agreement remains valid and enforceable until there is a hearing a judge determines whether or not to grant the request to set aside the separation agreement.

Both parties can still enter into an amendment of a separation agreement without a lawyer.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

So, if I’m understanding, a request to set it aside, means the entire SA would be void if the judge agreed? I do not want that haha, I would just want to address these 2 items of property but I know for a fact that my ex will NOT enter into an agreement with me, directly. I would need a lawyer…do you think if I can confirm that I was on the title of the vehicle in question, it would be worth it to get lawyers involved to work towards an amendment? The paperwork seems to point to me being on the title but Im trying to be sure of this before wasting more money on this divorce…the other property I am very clearly half-owner which was not taken into consideration or presented this way to which I was advised to stop fighting BUT this is an emotional piece of property and fear this on its own as an amendment will go nowhere, something we purchased for almost 30k may change that I would think…?

Yes, it would set aside the whole separation agreement unless the judge specified only certain portions of it are set aside.

In regards to the property portion, if you are already divorced, the equitable distribution portion may be final. However, the standard provisions of your separation agreement should state what happens if any accounts or property where withheld during the negotiations and not disclosed. Typically it says that the prejudiced party will receive 50% of the marital value or more than 50% of the marital value of the undisclosed property.

Without knowing the value of your assets in the equitable distribution process, I cannot give you any specific information, but a consultation with a lawyer may be helpful to make that determination of whether to pursue further action or not.


Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Thank yo so much! Appreciate your help and insight!