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Can I sue my domestic partner for defaulting on our notarized seperation agreement while divorce is pending?

Sacramento, CA |

My partner and me filed for divorce together, same day at court. We drafted an agreement dividing assets/property. we are both real estate agents. we agreed to split commission on all transactions orignated prior to legal separation date. I paid on closed transactions, shes now refusing pt pay me on two deals she closed. we are set to sign the stipulation agreement to finalize divorce. every other aspect of the notarized agreement has been adhered to and we've lived apart since 4/12. Do I sue her in small claims? I'm not sure how to proceed? Thank you for your expertise.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Hmmmmm, interesting, so the notarized agreement if it is not filed in family Court, then yes small claims if it is $10,000.00 or less, if more, then civil court. Good luck. Hope things work out.

    Attorney Williams practices FAMILY LAW throughout the State of California and may be reached at (831) 233-3558 and offers free consultations. The response provided in this forum is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information offered in this response is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without further consultation with a legal professional after all relevant facts are disclosed and considered. DANIEL S. WILLIAMS, ESQ. LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL S. WILLIAMS 500 LIGHTHOUSE AVENUE, STE. A MONTEREY, CA 93940 (831) 233-3558 -- OFFICE (831) 233-3560 -- FAX


  2. I agree with Daniel, and I would add that civil litigation is quite expensive. I mention this to point out both the benefit and the detriment of that fact. On one hand, you have a bargaining chip in the form of a bluff - you can threaten a suit which would be very expensive for your ex to defend regardless of the outcome. On the other hand, if she calls your bluff, you face an expensive suit yourself, one which may very well cost more than you hope to win if you prevail. I suggest you start by hiring a lawyer to draft a demand letter on letterhead - that's always a good way to start negotiations.

    A law professor of mine once said that anybody can sue for anything. The real question is whether or not they can win. I say the real question is whether the bluff is fruitful.

    Good luck!


  3. My understanding from your question is that the "notarized agreement" is intended to settle the money issues of your domestic partnership dissolution. If that's correct, then enforcement of the terms of the agreement would be handled in the family law department, not in general civil court or in small claims.


  4. This is a good example why it is far betterto get the help of an experienced lawyer. Cost a little but it saves you a lot of aggravation. A divorce lawyer would not have adised you to give any money outside of an approved judgment by the Court and under simultaneous transfers of property or cash. You still have a viable divorce going on. You may be able to get a credit for the money you have paid out against some other property and be wiser next time you sigm any notarized statements as substitutes for a Marital settlement Agreement; they are not worth the paper they are written on. Only an order of the Court is enforceable in family court. Get one and be happy. Forget about lawsuits. That is throwing good money after bad money.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 'El Abogado Hispano de California, and it is of a general context and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship. I am licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on divorce, family matters, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado Hispano Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Divorcios, Accidentes, y Bancarrotas de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, y California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Soy licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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