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1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 10/3/2007 1:18:42 PM EST
A friend of mine called today to ask my advice.

I'm no attorney but I told her what I thought anyway.

Anyway here is her story.....it is a pretty interesting legal question in my mind.

Her husband thought he was the part owner in his family business. He agreed to pay his previous wife $75,000 in the divorce settlement to satisfy her as her part of that company. He singed an agreement to make payments to her.

He continued on with his life and married my friend. He had a falling out with his Dad (I'm not sure how it all came about) and it was explained to him that he was not part owner in the business, but just an employee.

He left that employment and quit paying the ex-wife the note.

She sued and was granted a judgement.

Now the ex-wife is trying to collect that judgement.

The question in my mind is whether a judge would discount the note he agreed to pay her or even completely forgive it because of the father lying to both son and then daughter in law about being owners?

He is paying her/or owes her for a divorce settlement for an asset he never really owned, he just thought he did.

Does that all make sense?

Link Posted: 10/3/2007 1:29:52 PM EST
Bump to MAT
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 4:15:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 4:19:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 5:06:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimless:
My guess is he's stuck paying it unless there is someway to reopen the old divorce decree. Of course it depends on how everything was worded, but I think he's in a pickle.


I am also going with "in a pickle".
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 6:01:04 AM EST
Gotta be some way to reopen/revisit the original divorce decree as it was issued based on false information.
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 6:16:36 AM EST
Since it is part of the original divorce decree, he cannot just stop paying her. He is obligated to keep paying on the note since it is required by the order.

I don't know if he will be successful in getting a court to reopen the divorce case, especially if much time has passed. Even if he can get it reopened, I don't know if he will be successful in getting it changed. I don't recall ever seeing a situation quite like that and it seems like there are a bunch of other questions that would come up.
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 8:23:26 AM EST
Depending on the amount of time that has passed, I would think he would have a GREAT case for Negligence/Failure of Duty against HIS OWN ATTORNEY.

I can't imagine the Divorce Attorney who would let a client sign a Decree ordering him to reimburse his ex for her share of an asset that he DID NOT EVER OWN! That is Fiduciary Due Diligence 101.

But, with the amount of time that has passed, he may, indeed, be 'in a pickle.'

FluxPrism
Link Posted: 10/4/2007 8:32:31 AM EST
If he did not have legal documents drawn up as him owning part of the business he was an employee. However, he signed papers agreeing to pay the X a certain amount of money. He's screwed.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 9:35:50 PM EST
Maybe he can get a "stay" to stop legal proceedings until it's resolved. I don't see how he can be forced to pay for a business he doesn't own. Maybe he can tell the ex that unless she drops it , she will have to reimburse him for past payment. And get her to sign off on it.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 7:12:01 AM EST
" I don't see how he can be forced to pay for a business he doesn't own. "

He represented to his attorney that he DID own the busniess.
Not the attorneys fault.

HIS fault.

The agreed upon payments become an issue seperate from the reason for them.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 9:08:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By brickeyee:
" I don't see how he can be forced to pay for a business he doesn't own. "

He represented to his attorney that he DID own the busniess.
Not the attorneys fault.

HIS fault.


I'll disagree here, on the principle that 'Every Client Lies to Their Lawyer.'

Every lawyer knows this, and understands the fiduciary duty to verify financial information like this, especially when it could have been 'fudged' or 'tweaked' to reduce the client's exposure during the divorce proceedings. You NEVER take someone's word for what they do or don't own in businesses, you verify.

I'm not saying the guy is blameless, more like clueless, but his lawyer really let this one slide. Unless, or course, there is a whole lot more to the story. But more likely, the lawyer just got lazy.

FluxPrism
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