My spouse verbally told me she didn't want my pension. She was served on 4/5 with the Summons & Petition. On 5/6 some people handed my son papers and said they were from her. The Response states she now wants my pension and spousal support. I am permanently disabled and have no income. I gave her all the household furnishings, a pickup and will sign over the house to her. Now she is refusing to sign the Settlement Agreement. I haven't signed over anything yet. She hasn't filed the response with the court and I actually didn't receive the papers, they were given to my son. Is this a legal filing?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
First, your spouses verbal agreement is not binding. Second, for a Response to be a legal filing, it has to be accepted by the court and a file endorsement stamp must be on the form. Sometimes people serve responses without the endorsement. It does not mean it was not filed. You can check your courts web site to see if it was filed or you can go to the courthouse and check the file. Even it if was one or two days late, the court will most likely not consider that a problem. As far as whether or not the Response was properly served by handing it to your son, that depends. If you were avoiding service, then it is possible to serve another adult in the household. You have not provided enough facts but, again, in general, it does not matter. If it was filed, and you are aware it was filed, and you received a copy of it, your case will likely now move through the system. Judges let people who represent themselves get away with a lot of small rule violations. You may want to have a face to face consultation with an experienced family law attorney to educate yourself on what will happen or is likely to happen and what you can do to protect yourself. Do not sign anything without reviewing it with an experienced attorney. Even if you have to pay a consultation fee, that fee should pay many dividends in the future.
Michael Schwerin, San Jose, California phone: 408-295-4232 email: email@example.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I agree with Mr. Schwerin and would encourage you to consult with an experienced divorce attorney sooner rather than later to ensure any agreement you reach will meet your needs. Good luck.
Estate Planning Attorney
MY colleagues have provided you with sound information. At this point, you would be prudent to consult with a local family law attorney for an in depth review of your situation. You can find referrals through the Avvo Find a Lawyer tool or your local bar association.
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