If my ex wrote a letter agreeing to pay me a certain amount each month and said he would have it notarized. will it hold up in court?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my ex wrote a letter agreeing to pay me a certain amount each month and said he would have it notarized. will it hold up in court?

We were not married.

Asked on March 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this was a loan, then it would be enforceable--any loan agreement in writing (and most that are oral) are enforceable.

If it was not a loan, then it may not be enforceable. A "gratuitous promise" is not enforceble, even if in writing (the notarization doesn't add anything); for a promise to be enforceable, there must be consideration for it, or something of value given in exchange for the promise. However, you write that you are unmarried--that means, for example, that you do not have a right to spousal support, so you are not giving up any potential support as consideration for this agreement.

To make the agreement enforceasble, therefore, there must be something to which you have a right, which you are giving up; or there must be something else of value, which you are providing. For example, say you and he jointly bought property or vehicles and you let him have them--that could be sufficient consideration. Of if he used your credit card, but you agree to forego a claim for that in exchange for payment as per the agreement, that might be enough.

In short, if it's a promise given freely--gratuitously--without your ex receiving anything in return, then since you were not married, it is most likely not enforceasble.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption