View Full Version : Signing a document under false pretense
Feb 8, 2006, 11:42 AM
My fiancÚ is having a custody issue with her ex husband. Currently they share custody 50/50. They found out that he owed her about $12,000 in back child support so he agreed to go to a mediator and give her the majority of the custody time if she did not go after back support. He would not go to the mediator until she signed the paper, so she signed it under distress. Now he does not want to give up his custody time and in fact wants to take time away from her. Is there anything she can do to get the paper she signed voided since she did not get what she was promised? All she wants his full custody of her son, she doesn't even care about the money. Thank you for any help I can get.
Feb 8, 2006, 12:06 PM
Ok, valid or not, any agreement or child custody and/or child support agreement done privitely or even court ordered can be changed.
Even if it is decided that this is valid, I am not sure that the court would uphold it.
Best bet, ( and I hate dead beat dads) is to get an attorney and sue for everything and anything you want back in court. ( ps ask for more than you want) Judges will not think highly of non paying dads so he will be going in with one strick to start with
Feb 8, 2006, 12:08 PM
Did you sign under distress or under duress?
Feb 8, 2006, 01:27 PM
Why not just put it all in 1 document?
The document that you both sign could say, Mother waves back child support and in exchange, mother gets 70% custody, or whatever the agreed upon percentage was.
Feb 8, 2006, 02:07 PM
My fiancÚ asked about having everything in one document but she was told child support and custody are 2 separate issues. The mediator is going to keep the child support issue "open" until she can figure out if there is anything that can be done. And to Mr. Yet's question, I believe the correct term would be duress, my fiancÚ signed under duress. Thanks for the correction. We tried to get a lawer but he was worthless and got her case confused with several other of his cases! We can't afford much but we have to try and find another lawyer. We already fired the other guy.
Feb 16, 2006, 11:49 PM
Whoever told you that they could not be put into one document is correct. They are separate issues.
What I'm wondering is where the 'paper' came from that your fiancÚ signed? If it is not a court document, it probably not worth anything at all. Even if the mediator prepared it it is still not a binding agreement unless the issue has been seen by a judge.
And here is the answer to your question, if the father is not paying child support (a very serious offense) he can be jailed (if you like) until such time that he remits payment (it is actually called 'the deadbeat dad law' in fact.)
If he wants involvement with the child he will get the chance to set up a payment schedule, through the courts, and not get into any trouble. If he doesn't want to pay it, you may not withhold visitation, but you CAN file for remittance from the state (they will take it from his pay automatically) and they will take care of the details.
These are your options, and usually if the father does not want to pay, he will give up his custody (retaining visitation rights) to forego the repayment of back support.
On a side note, if your fiancÚ has received ANY state aid (food stamps, WIC, Medicaid) then all she needs to do is file with social services and the state itself goes and gets the money from the owing parent (they will take it for all state aid provided up to the amount allotted) and give the rest to her.