A Divorce Agreement Do-Over, Just in the Nick of Time


The situation: A woman, who had been divorced 10 months earlier, came to Dave Meier wanting to get a lien on her husband’s home because he hadn’t paid her what he had promised to pay in the divorce. Unfortunately, the woman had not had her own attorney during the divorce, and the stipulated decree had been written to favor her ex-husband-namely precluding any kind of lien on his assets and making his obligations to her only unsecured debt that he could ignore.

Our solution: When Dave reviewed the case, he had bad news and good news. She could not get a lien to secure his payments, BUT the decree had been silent on some of her ex-husband’s business assets that held significant value. That silence gave her an opening to vacate the decree in its entirety, but only up until the one-year anniversary of the divorce, which was quickly approaching.

Dave proposed to the woman that they move to vacate the decree and start over at “ground zero,” but explained that it would be a risk. The new litigation would cost her the expense of expert witnesses to properly value the ex-husband’s business assets, and there was no guarantee the second decree would be better than the first.

The result: Ultimately, the woman put her trust in Dave Meier and took an informed and calculated risk. That perseverance resulted in a new judgment and decree that awarded her two times what she had originally received.

Dave says that he found great satisfaction in “partnering with his client” to “dive into the deep end together” and “seize an opportunity” before it was time-barred forever.

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