Separation Agreements and the court


#1

Not sure what to do…

I STBX and I have been formally separated since January 15 when he moved out. We went forward with a separation agreement using a mediator and an attorney. It is signed and notarized.

He keeps getting laid off and fired or quitting his jobs. He has a history of physical and mental abuse to me and our child. He also has mental illness. I never called the police on him (which I deeply regret now).

My first question is - Can he change his mind about our separation agreement? We did everything by the book as the attorney told us to. It’s even recorded at the county. Can he still hire an attorney and start over? How does the Mecklenburg court system view such agreements? What happens if he changes his mind about the agreement? He has such mental issues I’m worried with his recent actions that he may try to do this.

My second question is - Can he stop paying me child support and alimony during the times he is laid off? I gave him a substantial amount of money that came from an inheritance when we separated and he had a large amount in a savings account that I let him keep as well. My separation agreement states that he is to pay me child support, alimony and some things for the kids.

Lastly - I have someone I am interested in dating. Under the separation agreement, I understand that it is ok, but I don’t want him coming after me later if I choose to have a relationship. He has recently (after the agreement was signed) begun to accuse me of an affair even though it’s not true.

He has also begun threatening a close friend of mine saying he broke up our marriage which is also NOT the case. I left because of the abuse and he refused to get help.

I guess what it all amounts to is how “solid” is a separation agreement? Can he change his mind, hire an attorney and start over or does the agreement hold water?


#2

If he decides he doesn’t like the separation agreement, he can’t simply change his mind. The only way he can get out of it, is if he moves to set it aside. To set a contract aside, he will have to prove that there was an issue when the contract was entered such as fraud or duress that would allow the court to throw it out.

Under the separation agreement, he is contractually obligated to pay your alimony and child support unless there are provisions that allow him to forego making payments for any reason.