Separation agreement not signed - question about alimony


#1

My stbx and I went through 3 mediation sessions and have a “memorandum of understanding” that the mediator drew up for us. The plan was to have this memorandum translated into a separation agreement by a qualified attorney that we would both sign. This has not been done so technically we have no agreement. My stbx is now contemplating legal action against me in order to get more alimony and more than a 50% settlement of our assets.

The problem is that I have been acting in good faith that we would both sign the legal document once created, and have been paying him alimony since he moved out (5 months ago) at $1800 per month. The memorandum says I am to pay $1800 per month for 6 months, then $600 for 1 year. So have 1 month of $1800 left and 12 months of $600.

He says he will make it so that the monies already paid do not count and he is going to ask for much more than that and for longer. Important facts are that
1-he has had no job for 3.5 years now except for a brief time in a sales position that brought in $30k
2-I had an emotional affair (although i was forgiven in writing and “physically”).
3-I did spend the night in a hotel out of town with the person I was having an affair with a few times when he thought i was on a business trip

He says that he can get a lot from me to make me pay.

I have 3 questions:

  1. Am I allowed to stop paying him until I am forced to do so via a court order? If he is going to ensure my past paid monies don’t count, then I am not really looking forward to sending more checks until I have to. I know the agreement is not valid but I wasn’t sure if I could stop since I already started sending the checks.

  2. He says he doesn’t know when he will go see a lawyer and that it could be months from now. If he doesn’t get around to filing for alimony until after we are divorced (7 months awaY), can he use this unsigned memorandum to get me to pay?

  3. What recourse do I have to get back the past monies paid? If I cannot get it back, can I at least claim it on my tax returns as alimony?


#2

You may stop paying him at this time, so long as you are not under contract or court order you do not have to pay your spouse support. As for making a claim for alimony, he must do so before the divorce is final, or he has no legal right to make such a claim. As for the money paid, you cannot get it back, nor claim it on your returns as the IRS requires that alimony payments must be pursuant to a legally binding document before they can be deducted.


#3

Just for clarification - if he DOES sign the existing agreement, could he then come back and ask for more prior to the divorce being final?


#4

No, if the agreement includes language waiving further rights to alimony.