Can I contest a marriage settlement agreement?

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Can I contest a marriage settlement agreement?

I signed a marriage settlement agreement with my wife, in which we both waived any interest or liability to the other regarding bank accounts, tax benefits/liabilities, etc. She filed her tax return (married filing separately) and I filed mine with the information her tax preparer gave me. Now her tax preparer has informed me that he gave me the wrong income allocations and that we are to split our wages (she earns much more than I do). This will have me paying $4,000 rather than receiving $1,500. Our agreement would have been handled differently if I knew I would be responsible for tax liability. Can the agreement be made void if financial information was incorrect before it was signed?

Asked on April 29, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, the tax preparer is not your tax preparer so the issue becomes whether or not you had your own tax preparer reviewing filings before agreeing to sign on the dotted line or if by sharing information, your ex-wife's tax preparer somehow created a fiduciary responsibility to you. Secondly, if the divorce agreement was to waive any interest or liability to the other, then really you should be getting the $1,500.00 and your wife should be paying the rest. You can seek to amend the divorce agreement and must bring in a motion (talk to divorce counsel) to seek the monetary difference. While divorce decrees may tell you how to split assets and the like, the reality may be different. Take mortgages for example. The decree may say you will only be responsible but if your lender doesn't agree, you are out of luck.


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