What can I do if I signed a separation agreement that was untruthful of the dates of separation?

Question:Cordell & Cordell attorney Andrea Miller

I signed a separation agreement that was untruthful of the dates of separation. Now I feel guilty and would like to rectify the situation. Is this possible?




In order to rectify the situation, the only thing you can do is to claim that the agreement is unenforceable. However, in order to do that, it matters if the agreement was incorporated into a court order or if the agreement is still an out of court agreement.

This matters because if the agreement is still out of court, you would use contract law in order to nullify the agreement. If the agreement was in incorporated into a court order, the procedure in claiming the agreement unenforceable may be different.

Without knowing whether or not the agreement was incorporated or not makes a difference in the analysis of your question. Also, were you represented by counsel? Was the opposing party? How far off is the date of separation? Unfortunately, without knowing a little more about the case I cannot properly answer your question.

Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute and attorney client relationship.  Cordell & Cordell has divorce attorneys in North Carolina that would be glad to assist you.


Andrea Miller is a Staff Attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Miller is licensed in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Miller received her undergraduate degree in History and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While in law school, she on the Client Counseling Team for Moot Court and became a board member. Ms. Miller also participated in UNC’s Legal Assistance Clinic whereby she helped represent indigent clients obtain legal counsel primarily in the area of domestic relations.

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2 comments on “What can I do if I signed a separation agreement that was untruthful of the dates of separation?

    Legal separation agreements
    Legal separation agreements are usually binding and can vary widely, but you may have a few options to help you.

    Generally, when you sign a legal separation agreement, you are bound to its terms until you terminate the agreement through the Court, or file for divorce. The legal separation agreement is a type of contract, and the Court will not let you out of your contract with your wife lightly. Your agreement could have a specified period of time that the separation will last, or California law may specify a specific time limit, i.e. 1 year, on legal separations. Your Agreement also could have specified that your legal separation would terminate upon reconciliation of your relationship. Make sure you read your Agreement thoroughly to determine if there is any such provision in your separation agreement.

    As for fighting the Contempt Order, you will probably need some sort of strategy that shows the agreement had either 1) been terminated or2) has been fulfilled in an alternate way. You could argue that, as you were living in the marital residence and supporting your wife and child(ren), you were effectively paying support and alimony through maintaining the marital residence and living expenses of your family. This may or may not work, depending on the child support and alimony laws in your jurisdiction; if this is a possibility in your jurisdiction, you will need proof of payment of these types of expenses. You could also argue that you implicitly terminated the legal separation agreement by reconciling your marriage. Again, this depends heavily on what is allowed by the Court in your jurisdiction.

    I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney in your area who will be able to help you formulate a case against this contempt order. When you contact possible attorneys to represent you, be sure to ask if they have experience handling legal separation agreements. Good luck.

    Trying to prove my Innocence.
    How can I prove in a court of law. That during a legal seperation agreement signed by both of us. She had an attorney I did not. That we moved back in together and were married, shared bills together, were intimate together traveled together introduced each other as husband and wife raised our son together. I also have many witnesses verifying the above information. I have been held in contempt of court for not paying alimony and child support during this time. My X has an attorney that represents her on this matter on a contingency basis. Please Please advise me of how I can prove my innocence.

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