Reopen claim for Equitable Distribution and Alimony


#1

My husband is pushing for an absolute divorce and a final hearing will happen in a few days. I have signed a consented order that made a 50% split of assets but explicitely denied alimony, even though I had no job or income when we separated. I did that under duress as I was suffering from extreme depression and other mental health issues caused by the traumatic way the separation happened. I essentially could not handle more pressure and decided to give up. Of course the consented order says it’s not being signed under duress, which is kind of silly because if you’re under duress, how can you admit it?

The property distribution is now done and I don’t want to contest it. But can I reopen the ED ? An ED complaint was filed by him, but was dismissed after the consented order was signed. Can I start another ED claim and just say I signed under duress and intend to claim only alimony? I know I need to do this quickly, before the divorce is final. Or can I get extra time if I say during the hearing that I don’t want the divorce to proceed because I was coerced to sign an agreement that was against my best interest?, and need more time to file the ED?

Thanks!


#2

The ED order is final, and you cannot file a new claim. You may attempt to file a motion for relief from judgment, but it is very difficult to prove one was under duress at the time a consent order was signed. You must have been under an imminent threat of physical harm, literally like a gun being held to your head when you signed the order.