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Can you still protest the terms of a divorce after they have been finalized?

Posted on March 28, 2018

You’ve just gone through a lengthy divorce and it’s finally over. Working together with your family lawyer, you made compromises in certain areas in order to come to an agreement with your former spouse; but after everything is said and done, you can’t help but get the feeling that you were taken advantage of, and your former spouse isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.

What now? Is it game, set, match once the terms of the divorce are put on paper, or do you have any legal options for reviewing the conditions in the days, weeks, months and even years after the divorce?

A couple unhappy after a divorce, each thinking about protesting the termsWhat is the status of the agreement?

If you are hit with a sudden realization that things are not working out the way they should have despite having terms of an agreement in place, it may be possible to take immediate action to amend or nullify the terms before a judge. Key is to act quickly and discuss any issues with your divorce lawyer. If there has been a material change in circumstances many agreements contemplate such situations for review. If on the other hand one party simply manipulated the situation to gain a benefit it may likewise be open to review.

Acquiring legal representation

If some time has already passed when you realize that the agreement is problematic, you will need to talk with your family lawyer in order to begin to plan your approach. Once you have signed a document and it has been made official, you need to make sure that you approach the situation appropriately.

Whether your argument is based on new evidence that has come to light or a convincing reason for why the previous agreement should be rendered invalid, you will need to work with your family law lawyer to give yourself the best chance.

Your lawyer can also help you evaluate the legal and financial cost of bringing your matter to Court or defending such a claim by your former partner. Once you fully understand the severity and consequences of the matter at hand you will be able to make an informed decision that is to your benefit.

Don’t defy a divorce order—even if you disagree with it

Most importantly, it is not a good idea to protest a decision by intentionally ignoring it. Defying court orders by withholding support payments or denying access, for example, may lead to civil or criminal penalties, including the possibility of fines, jail time, garnishments of your paycheck, or more.

With a sturdy defence strategy and a good lawyer, you can make sure that your interests are protected and that you don’t need to face a disadvantage in the future from an unfair agreement.


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