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About invalidating a martial settlement agreement

Montclair, NJ |

My husband threatened not to finalize the green card application unless I signed a martial settlement agreement absolutely favorable to him. I signed because I have no choice. In the agreement there are terms that I signed voluntarily though it is not true. Now I have green card already and I want to overturn the agreement. What is my chance?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Invalidating a signed Settlement Agreement is very difficult. This is especially true since you probably testified at the final divorce hearing that you signed the agreement voluntarily and were not under duress nor being coerced to sign same. You should schedule a consult with an attorney to review the facts more fully.

    IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: The response to the question posted is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and is provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Responses are based solely upon New Jersey law.


  2. You should have a good chance vacating the Property Settlement Agreement if you can show that it was the result of coercion. Courts favor upholding an agreement but the agreement must be fair. Fairness is a difficult term to define but must include voluntariness and must not be so one-sided as to "shock the conscious."

    However, you should file a motion to set the agreement aside promptly because any delay may look as though you became discontented with the agreement later.

    You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.

    Here is a link to a free webinar about NJ divorce called "Divorce and the NJ Family Court, the people, the papers and the Process" to be held on Wednesday, July 31st at 6:30 p.m.: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3421843264922448896

    Additionally, below is a link to our blog with articles and information that may assist you with your case.

    Good luck.
    Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
    The Micklin Law Group
    187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
    Nutley, NJ 07110
    973-562-0100
    Brad@Micklinlawgroup.com
    www.micklinlawgroup.com

    Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.


  3. Invalidating an agreement is very difficult. However, coercion is one reason where it may be invalidated. You have the burden of proof.

    973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advice and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


  4. A signed agreement is difficult to set aside, but possible if you can prove that there was coercion or duress involved in your execution of the agreement. Were you represented by counsel at the time? I would strongly suggest obtaining counsel now if you haven't done so already.

    This post is not legal advice and does not create a confidential attorney-client relationship. It is being offered for informational purposes only. You should not relay any confidential or priviliged material in this public forum. You should not rely on this post as legal advice. In order to obtain a more comprehensive answer to your question you should consult with an attorney of your choosing.


  5. As long as you can prove coercion, you should be able to set aside the agreement. But no one can guarantee that you will be able to prove that. I recommend you see a local attorney immediately. Your green card is not at risk, from the facts that you presented.

    Without meeting with you, and knowing all the facts and circumstances of your case, my opinion is not to be construed as legal advice, just general educational information.

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