Often in a divorce action, the departing spouse, remorseful, may be eager to end the marriage. In his or her eagerness, this spouse will often make a more than generous offer to settle the domestic issues. In these cases, I often urge my client to look to the future, not to the past, and (if the agreement is appropriate) to accept the offer. Many times, the quicker the division is reached, the better. Settlement allows emotions to calm down, and the bulk of the family financial resources to remain with the family rather than be spent on attorneys and other costs of court such as expert fees, court reporter fees and the like.
Once the Property Settlement Agreement has been thoroughly reviewed and executed by the parties, the Agreement will stand unless a spouse can prove that he or she signed the Agreement under fraud, coercion or duress. The legal theories of fraud, coercion and duress are difficult and costly to prove. The Property Settlement Agreement is much like marriage – – not to be entered into lightly or ill advisedly. Again, my advice is that both husband and wife have separate legal counsel to prepare and review the Agreement before execution.