Your "verbal" contract is worth the paper
it's written on. You let him KEEP the cash?
You need to speak to an attorney asap.
It'll cost you several hundred dollars
minimum to pursue your "agreement."
THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.
This is a tough issue. From a purely technical standpoint, it is possible that such a verbal agreement, (if proven), would be enforceable. However depending on the value of the assets as well as the amount of the loan he was to repay, you will have to determine if the costs of litigation will be money well spent.
From the question, it sounds as if this may have been a marriage situation. If that's the case, then these issues should be addressed through the family court, along with division of any other marital assets and debts. If this was not actually a marriage then it's basically a breach of contract, promissory estoppel and/or quantum meruit claim and it should be pursued in the general civil division of the circuit or district court, (depending on the amount in dispute). More information would be helpful. Good luck.
While verbal contracts are legally valid, the problem is proving the contract exists and proving the terms of the contract. Whether you should hire a lawyer or not depends on how much money is at stake. Let us assume that this is a simple contract matter. If we are talking about 10K, it is worth hiring an attorney. If it is 5K, maybe. If it is less than 1K, save your money. Now let's talk about marriage and divorce. You say that you are separated. If you are legally married, you can file for a divorce. Prior to a divorce being granted, a couple may enter into a separation agreement. This is in writing, and it sets out duties such as paying debts and custody of children. Another legal action to take is to file for separate maintenance. This allows the couple to split their assets but still remain married. This is done by some people due to moral or religious reasons. It sounds like you need to speak with an attorney. I handle family law cases, and I am available for a free initial consultation.
Attorney at Law
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