I recently completed a mediation and we finished it with a signed agreement by all parties. Later that evening my soon to be ex found a mistake in the spreadsheet used to calculate the final numbers in the agreement. The mediator reworked the calculations and changed a few things around and the new MSA is completely disagreeable to me. I have not signed the new MSA. My question is, am I correct in thinking that the courts will abide by our original agreement? My wife's attorney is trying to lead me to believe that she can file the new MSA despite my not signing it and the only way to stop it is to go to trial. Please note that the mediator did not file it yet but that I do have the original, completed, and signed MSA.
Where is your lawyer. You need one. You needed one at the original mediation.
If the mistake was only calculation and the spirit of the agreement didn't change, you may be stuck.
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This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
If there is a miscalculation of the numbers it should be corrected before you sign anything and the court will not compel you to do so.
I have the impression that you did not have a lawyer at the mediation. But I agree with my colleague that you should certainly have a lawyer now. A lawyer's appearance may also change the attitude of your spouse's lawyer.
I would encourage you to sit down with a local attorney and have them review the proposed agreement. You are not bound by an oral settlement agreement, only a written agreement. However, an written agreement can be established through a series of writings which establish there was agreement on all terms. So, the agreement need not be one paper with your signature. If you reached an agreement (even if one signed paper), whether you are bound by certain calculations depends on the language of the agreement. So, if you said "we agree to each take 50% of the debt". And somewhere you had calculations, it may not matter that your calculation was wrong. If you agreed to each be responsible for 50%. If you said, I will pay $25K because that is about what I have available, are there are some calculations somewhere that are wrong, the calculations probably don't matter. Your settlement was based on the idea that you were willing to use from a particular account, so the calcs are not the basis for the agreement. It is really your responsibility to do your own calculations before you enter into an agreement. Unless there is MUTUAL mistake., then no question, no one is bound. But, because of the potential nuanced facts that determine whether or not an agreement is binding, you should consult with a lawyer.
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