Separation agreement and alimony


#1

I was separated more than a year ago. We have a Separation agreement dividing the assets, and setting alimony and child support. It wasn’t court ordered, I had a lawyer write it up, she reviewed it, agreed, and we had it notarized. I also have a child custody order that a lawyer wrote up, setting joint custody, visitation, holidays, etc… that was filed with a court.

Now that a year has passed and I am trying to move forward with the actual divorce, she sent me a letter yesterday saying she thinks she needs more alimony and child support now, since I am working at a new job (was working severely reduced pay when we separated… but we took that into account, by giving her more than 50% of the assets in the distribution).

So:

  1. Can she now ask for more alimony from a court? or did she give up that right when she agreed to the amount in the separation agreement?
  2. We never had a child support amount set by a court, only what she requested when we separated. I actually talked her into taking more, so that she could make all the payments that she wasn’t thinking of. Can she petition a court to increase child support payments, when they never set them in the first place?
    3)If she can do all this any time she wants to, then what was the whole point of the separation agreement in the first place?

I’m already $20,000 in debt from making the payments we agreed on (was unemployed a bit during this last year) but have never been late. If she can actually do this, do they take debt into account, when deciding what you can pay?

Thanks.


#2

If the Separation Agreement contains a waiver of alimony and does not require the issue to be revisited upon a change in circumstances the agreement bars her from seeking additional alimony.
Either party may initiate an action for child support at any time, however the party wishing to deviate from the terms of the agreement has the burden to prove that the current amount of support does not support the children’s reasonable needs. It is presumed that the amount the parties agreed to is in the best interests of the children.