Taken advantage?

That would depend on the situation that you have separated. IMHO, I believe that the person initiating the separation should be the one to leave the marital home. It makes things easier when one spouse gives up their rights to 1/2 the marital home, but that does not mean that you should not get your share. It normally only means that one spouse is going to remain in the marital home, while the other, after being given their share will no longer have any right to the home. A separation agreement will keep you from going to court for equitable distribution but it does not have to be equal. If you do not understand or do not agree with anything in the agreement, do not sign it. Consult an attorney.

As far as the child custody and support are concerned, you can run the calculator on the home site, input your incomes and the other information and see what the amount of child support would be if you file rather than agree to the amount being offered. You can file for primary physical custody but if your husband is requesting joint custody, you may be better off not fighting it out in court. A lot more judges are ruling for equal time between parents these days and it is what is best for the children in most cases. Children need both parents as involved in their lives as possible. That should not change due to divorce…
It’s easier and cheaper to settle these things out of court. If you file for child support then you will only get the amount that the state guidelines say you are entitled to. If your husband is offering $500 a month and joint custody then you are probably gettin an average deal.
My husband and his ex share custody with equal time of his two boys. He pays $500 per month in child support and according to the order, she is supposed to pay for everything else other than insurance. Normally though he usually ends up paying more and spending more on clothes, school supplies and trips, and everyday things that they don’t have at their mother’s house…she has threatened to take him back to court for more a time or two, but when the deal was made she was only showing income for part time work. She makes a lot more now and that would actually lower the amount that he pays.

What does the separation agreement say happens if you reconcile?

Yes, you can take him to court for child custody and child support, the court will address the issue of custody, but may find that the amount of support you agreed to is reasonable if nothing has changed since you reconciled (this depends on what the agreement says about reconciliation).

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

My husband and I been married for 9 years. He asked me to sign a separation agreement (no lawyer involved) for me to give up the rights to the house, agree to $500 a month of child support and for joint custody. Even though I signed in back in January and got back together, separated again in July, can I go and file for child support and full custody? I feel like he’s taking advantage of me for not knowing my rights…but is he?