In Maryland, a property settlement agreement between divorcing spouses, even in a high net worth divorce, is generally a binding document that spouses must follow. Like in other states, it is not easy for a spouse to get out of a property settlement agreement in Maryland, even if he or she later discovers that he or she did not get a fair share of the property.
This is because the courts generally presume that both spouses either know about the details of their assets and debts or they have had the opportunity to find what they need to know prior to signing the agreement. In rare cases, however, courts may be willing to set aside a divorce agreement. A woman from another state recently filed suit claiming that her divorce is just such a case and that she should be allowed to re-open it.
She alleges that her husband, a wealthy businessman, recommended a particular attorney for her to hire. Possibly without her knowledge, however, the husband paid her attorney as well as his own attorney an extra $50,000 in order to move the process along. The woman’s attorney then persuaded her that her husband’s business was worth about $15 million, a number supposedly based on the opinion of a recent graduate from law school.
Less than year after the woman agreed to take about half of the $15 million over time, the man, who was familiar with market conditions, sold his business for $100 million. The woman now seeks to receive what she sees as her share of the business’s true value.
A good Howard County divorce lawyer would recommend that divorcing individuals proceed with caution. Rather than trying to change a binding agreement, it is generally better that both sides be fairly represented and fully understand their rights before settling a divorce.
Source: The Tennessean, “Williamson woman says ex sped up divorce, then sold $100M company,” Bobby Allyn, July 31, 2013
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