Deals With The "Devil": Why You Should Not Make Verbal Or Written Agreements With Your Ex
Some ex-spouses have a way of needling and harassing you until you cave. They know that you want to be left alone, which is precisely why they keep after you until you give them what they want. However, you should never cave without talking to your family lawyer first. Making verbal or written agreements with your ex before consulting with your lawyer is a bad idea. Here is why.
Verbal Agreements Can Be Recorded
Whether or not you gave your permission to be recorded does not mean a thing. Your ex can record you and then the recording can be used in court to persuade a judge to make you give the ex what he/she wants. If your ex continues to harass you, simply tell him/her you need time to think about it and/or you want to talk to your lawyer. If he/she persists, tell him/her that you will call the police if he/she does not stop bothering you. That is a voice recording your ex definitely will not want to share with the courts!
Written Agreements Are Binding
Written agreements are legally binding. That is why your ex will push so hard to get you to sign something. If you sign it, he/she has you, and not even your family lawyer will be able to do anything to extricate you from the agreement. The judge will see your signature, and no amount of disagreeing or claiming that you signed under duress will change that. (Also, signing under duress involves a weapon; constantly harassing you and making him/herself a manipulative nuisance does not fall under the legal definition of duress.)
Witnesses Are Dangerous, Too
Yes, this is family court, and no, witnesses to an event are not granted entry into the courtroom when anything related to your divorce is aired. However, lawyers can speak to witnesses. If there is an adult witness present during a verbal conversation where an agreement is made or acknowledged, your ex's lawyer can speak to that witness to confirm your ex's story. If that happens, then there is nothing your lawyer can do to change that (with the exception of speaking to your own witness about what happened and what was said).
It Is Hard, but Delay Your Ex's Deal-Making Process
Exes who push to make agreements and deals will always pick dates and times when you cannot defer to your lawyer (e.g., holidays, weekends, when your lawyer is on vacation, etc.). You have to stay strong and continue to refuse. He/she is not likely to give up, but if you stand your ground until your lawyer is back in the office, you will be the better for it.