Trouble with separation agreement


Dear aithosn8:

Greetings. RUN, do not walk, to an attorneys office. You cannot afford an attorney? YOU CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO RETAIN AN ATTORNEY. You are looking at having to pay your ex for years, and you already signed an agreement. Did you hold a weapon on her and force her to sign? Then it is unlikely she was in duress and your agreement should stand. Get an attorney. Beg for the fee. Get an attorney that does flat fees like us, so that you know how much it will cost from the very beginning. It may be a quick motion if you signed an agreement. Best of luck…and let us know if we can help.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


My spouse and I were married in NYC in '98 and we later moved to Raleigh. Two years later we separated and both signed a separation agreement. We have lived separate for the entire time but separation we have gotten together on a few occasions to talk and went to couples counseling on two occasions on my spouse’s insistence. In addition we have had relations a few (3 or 4) times as well, but we still cannot work out our differences.

I have recently filed for divorce in Wake County, because I am ready to move on with my life. Now my spouse is contesting the separation agreement by saying she signed it under duress. In addition my spouse wants equitable distribution, alimony, and post separation support. At this point neither one of us has any real assets, we both rent apartments, both of us have vehicles, we both have around $6000 in debt and our incomes are within $5000 of each other.

Just this week I have heard from her lawyer three times about contesting the divorce. My spouse’s lawyer has filed paperwork for court dates regarding post separation support and equitable distribution. Eventhough I have no assets and literally live paycheck to paycheck, my fear is that my spouse is going to “take me to the cleaners”. What do I need to do at this point? What should I expect? I am willing to set down and talk with my spouse regarding these issues but I believe her lawyer is pushing her not to.