Refusal to sign separation agreement


#1

Is there any benefit to a particular spouse to NOT sign a separation agreement (other than disagreeing with terms)…or is my STBX just trying to be difficult? Such as: would it be beneficial not to sign so that you could change your mind about custody/visitation/alimony/support later and not be in breach of contract?

I cannot get my STBX to sign the separation agreement that BOTH attorneys have been working on. Every time I ask if it has been signed, ANOTHER “issue” arises. These could simply be that she is upset that day and refuses to sign, to wanting to quarrel over insignificant amounts of money (the attorneys fees cost MORE than the amount she wants to bicker over). Please note: the issues I’m referring to, are not issues regarding the terms of the agreement, but issues she doesn’t agree with that are exclusive of the agreement (ie. I asked for the kids to be dropped off – therefore she won’t sign the agreement). They are all just poor excuses in my mind.

I have decided that filing suit is my best option to get legal documents in place. Would a judge recognize her continued efforts to be unreasonable? Will her behavior be accountable in court?


#2

The benefit to not signing an agreement is that you are not bound by terms you find unfavorable. In this case it seems that your wife is simply not ready emotionally to lose the connection to you.

Filing suit is likely your best option at this point, as you can’t continue to live in limbo forever.

Settlement negotiations are not admissible in court, so the judge will never hear of your efforts to settle.


#3

So is it correct to say that any previously drafted separation agreement (drafted but not signed) will not be available to show to a judge?

Also, despite the fact she has not signed it, we have been living/obeying what is outlined in the draft agreement. Will past behavior including visitation, custody, CS, PSS be considered by the judge. If so, how heavy of an influence is this? I am concerned that I could lose custody (currently joint) and visitation time (nearly 50%), or have payments increase (which I can’t afford).


#4

Yes, settlement offers are not admissible in court.

Past behavior will be admissible in court with respect to custody . It can be used to show a pattern to which the children have been accustomed. If you have been paying support since separation that can be used to prevent her from seeking a large amount of back support.