Separation Agreement and Divorce


#1

My soon to be ex husband is in the military. He is in a special unit that requires him to be gone for months at a time. So when we signed our separation agreement it was fairly reasonable for me to remain our daughters primary caregiver. I went through a hard time and decided to move to his state and signed over a notarized agreement giving him primary custody, after the SA was signed. When he asked for his girlfriend, now fiance, to be able to physical reprimand our daughters I denied the request and he then got an ex parte order and was awarded temporary custody. By the time we go to court he will have to go to school for the military and his fiance will more then likely be his wife and will be our daughters primary caregiver, which im against. I’m afraid of losing custody of our daughters. I don’t want them being raised by someone who has only been in their lives for 4 months. Now during the time we were signing and preparing our separation agreement he told me that if I didn’t waiver my rights to alimony and spousal support then he would take me to court for custody and use my past medical history against me to deem me unfit to be our daughters primary caregiver. I have a history of depression and tried to commit suicide 9 months before I got pregnant with our first daughter. I also got post partum depression after both of our daughters were born and I was on antidepressants for about 6 months during the beginning of our separation.

( I did try to divorce him a few years ago and he threatened to use my depression against me and to file abandonment charges to gain custody because I left our daughters with him to secure a place to live. He told me I had 3 days to come home or he would file abandonment charges. I went back and when I did he disabled my car, hes a mechanic, and took away our daughters car seats so I couldn’t leave while he was at work. He only returned the car seats after taking away all my credit cards so I wouldn’t have any money to make it to my family’s home in NC, we lived in AL at the time. He allowed me to work but would make sure all my money went to paying the bills and he denied me the car seats unless he was with me. I had to agree to stay with him for 3 months before he let his guard down and gave me back my credit cards and car seats. I left him while he went away for the Army. He convinced me he found GOD and that he wasn’t the same man which is why I signed a notarized agreement after the SA was signed.)

Can I get the SA to be voided? And I do have a friend who is willing to testify that he was verbally and emotionally abusive during our marriage. Never physically although he is prone to violent outbursts when he doesn’t get what he seems to think hes entitled to or is angry about work. He has gone to a therapist about his anger issues but stopped after 3 sessions a few years ago.

Also under what grounds can I stall the divorce. We have been legally living apart since October of last year.

Also I believe his girlfriend is spanking our daughters, most likely with his consent, is there any way to get a protective order for her to stay away from them until I can have it investigated?


#2

For a separation agreement to be voided or voidable, you have to show that there is a defect of some nature, for exampele, either in the document directly or that the document was executed under duress or coercion.

There really is no way to stall a divorce unless you find a defect of some nature in the paperwork, causing him to have to file an amended complaint. Even then though, a court may grant him a divorce based on a motion for summary judgment because the time line for those motions are based on the commencement of the action and not the response of the defendant.

Both of these are issues that would require examination of the paperwork to determine if you have any actions you can take. I would advise a full consultation to discuss both of these in detail and determine what your legal course of action should be.