Sometimes my College Station divorce clients come to the collaborative case with pre-existing spousal agreements. I am the neutral financial CPA on these cases. That means I am not an attorney and I don’t know the ins and outs of what attorneys do. But I have heard attorneys imply that these agreements don’t survive the entrance to a legal case. (Perhaps those were said by the attorney for the spouse who doesn’t like the agreement.)
By agreements, I am talking about things ranging from promises to give him/her the landscape painting to promises for support payments for “all” his/her living expenses.
If you have any pre-attorney agreements with your spouse, check with your attorney in your first meeting. Be clear about the agreements and what you think both you and your spouse said at the time. Be clear about your current intentions.
- How will this be handled in my divorce case?
- I didn’t agree to this, I just kept my mouth shut and now he/she is forcing this on me.
- He/she promised to pay alimony for life. Can I really get that?
- Can he/she really get credit for giving me something now that he/she already gave me as a gift years ago?
- Is this agreement wiped out because we now have attorneys involved?
- Can I make him/her honor this agreement now that we have started the legal part of this divorce?
In collaborative divorce cases there is a method to talk nicely about these expectations. I have been involved in these discussions dozens of times. It is best to get this resolved up front. Don’t hide from these issues. If you want to keep your costs down and get out as quickly as you can, be assertive about clearing the air on these old agreements.
I would like to hear about any broken agreements that you have experienced in divorce.