Can I Set Aside My Divorce Agreement?

The Risks of Hastily Agreeing to Divorce Settlements: Understanding Your Rights

Divorce can be a stressful and emotionally charged process, prompting many individuals to hastily agree to settlement terms just to see the process end. However, making rushed decisions during divorce negotiations can lead to long-term regrets and financial difficulties. It’s crucial to fully understand and agree with all financial terms before finalizing any divorce agreement.

The Importance of Agreement Review

Before signing a divorce agreement, it’s essential to carefully review every clause and ensure that you fully understand the implications of each financial term. This not only includes immediate financial distributions and responsibilities but also long-term effects on retirement, tax implications, and asset division.

“Too many people just want their divorce to end, and they wind up agreeing to terms that they later regret,” a family law expert notes. “It is essential to take the time to understand all aspects of your agreement, seeking clarification or legal advice if anything is unclear.”

Challenges in Modifying Agreements

Once a divorce agreement is signed and ratified by the courts, modifying the terms can be a complex and often unsuccessful endeavor. The legal criteria for altering a finalized divorce agreement are stringent.

Criteria for Setting Aside an Agreement

The Second Department recently clarified the criteria for setting aside a divorce agreement. Key reasons include:

  • Fraud: If one party has deceived the other regarding the terms or the nature of the assets and liabilities.
  • Unfair Terms: If the agreement is egregiously unjust or one-sided to the extent that it shocks the conscience of the court.

However, simply being unhappy with the terms of the agreement does not qualify as a sufficient reason to alter the settlement.

“Being unhappy with the terms is not a defense for altering a divorce agreement,” according to a recent ruling by the Second Department. “Parties must demonstrate significant legal reasons, such as fraud or extreme unfairness, for any modifications.”

Legal Advice Is Critical

Given the difficulty in modifying divorce agreements post-approval, obtaining expert legal advice before signing is imperative. A skilled divorce attorney can help clarify the implications of each term, negotiate more favorable conditions, and ensure that the agreement is both fair and equitable.

Making Informed Decisions

Divorce attorneys often stress the importance of making informed decisions. “Rushing to sign an agreement without thorough understanding can lead to significant financial and emotional issues down the line,” says a seasoned divorce lawyer. “Always take the necessary time to review every aspect of the agreement, and don’t hesitate to negotiate terms that better reflect your interests.”

Hiring a Brooklyn Divorce Attorney

The finality of divorce agreements means that mistakes made during the negotiation phase can have lasting repercussions. By understanding the strict criteria for modifying agreements and recognizing the importance of thorough review and sound legal advice, individuals can avoid unfavorable outcomes and secure a settlement that genuinely reflects their needs and circumstances. Remember, a decision made in haste during a divorce can impact your financial stability for years to come.

Contact us at 877-826-7257 today to get expert-guided legal representation.

Scroll to Top