It is not uncommon for married couples to separate while contemplating whether they want to legally end their marriage. In such instances, they will often enter into a separation agreement indicating their rights and duties during their time apart. Such agreements are essentially contracts and are enforceable as such. There are exceptions, however, like agreements that are the result of overreaching or duress that will cause a court to deem them unenforceable, as demonstrated in a recent New York case. If you are determining whether you should end your marriage, it is smart to talk to a New York divorce lawyer to determine what steps you can take to protect your rights.
Facts of the Case and Procedural Setting
It is reported that the husband initiated a divorce action asserting that the parties had been living separately under a property settlement and separation agreement filed nearly two years prior, as per Domestic Relations Law § 170 (6). The husband sought summary judgment to enforce the separation agreement, while the wife countered with a cross-motion, alleging that certain provisions of the separation agreement were unconscionable and the result of fraud, duress, coercion, and lack of financial disclosure by the husband.