Separation Agreement...can it be amended?


#1

I went through mediation in April and sep. agreement signed…28 yr. marriage with equitable distribution involved. I was notified this week that the part that addresses retirement benefits (that I was awarded) and ins. coverage I agreed to pay, may have been worded incorrectly and may cause problems down the road. I called my atty and emailed him but have not heard back. There was a judge present at my mediation too which I also paid dearly for, so shouldn’t ONE of them checked to make sure the verbage was correct…was I responsible for this??? Can I request an amendment to the agreement be made and if not can I contest the divorce if ex files in Sept.? Thank you.


#2

Primarily you and your attorney should have reviewed the language. The judge/mediator has no responsibility to oversee the drafting of the settlement documents. The verbage in the Separaion Agreement dictates how the QDRO (specific document that actually divides the account), if what you agreed to is different than what the Separation Agreement spells out, you can have the QDRO drafted to include the correct terms.


#3

The QDRO did not mention anything pertaining to the medical benefits so the retirement person was clueless. The separation agreement incorrectly lists the charlotte fire dept. as the one overseeing the retirement pension when in fact it is the City of Charlotte. I was under the impression that the medical premium was $238/month and not bi-weekly and it was not stated either way in the sep. agreement, only who would be responsible for the premium. My questions is…are these grounds for an amendment or contesting of the divorce should husband file in September?


#4

QDRO’s do not relate to medial benefits, only the division of retirement assets, and again if the Separation Agreement includes a clerical error, the actual QDRO can be drafted to correctly include the appropriate name of the plan.


#5

Thank you Erin . Can I ask for an amendent to the sep. agrmt. to change me being the sole person responsible for the $500/month health ins. premium? This would be based on the fact that the amount of the premium was not clearly stated to me at mediation. If my husband doesn’t agree to that, can I contest the divorce that I am sure he will file for in Sept?

And…is the error in the agrmt. stating the CFD is over the medical benefits (should be City of Charlotte) a big deal? I have called my atty. twice and left two phone messages but he is yet to get back with me.


#6

You can attempt to negotiate an amended agreement, though there is nothing that forces your spouse to further negotiate. You cannot contest the divorce, as the divorce will go through after the one year period of separation.
I am confused as to what you are contesting with respect to the agreement, is your spouse paying for your benefits?


#7

Sad to say but the premium is being deducted from the pension I was awarded. I allowed this because I was told that the premium was half of what it really is, AND I was desperate to settle during the mediation because I had been starved out for almost 8 months. I was diagnosed with a neurological condition 3 years ago that may require a serious surgery in the future, so I HAVE to maintain medical coverage and can’t trust my ex to maintain it. I guess this is why my atty has not returned my calls, he knows the separation agreement is a done deal and because I trusted him to represent my best interest (which he did not) and I didn’t ask enough and didn’t fully see the whole picture…it is what it is. :frowning: