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The divorce process often includes mediation, which is a confidential situation. When you cannot come up with an agreement with your spouse to split your assets and debts, it might become necessary to deal with a mediator. This is a third-party person with no ties to either of you who is given the task of helping you come to an agreement on your divorce settlement in a calm and peaceful environment. Mediation isn’t always fun for couples, but it is designed to be productive and help people figure out what they need and how they can handle the situations life throws at them.
What you should know about mediation is that you’re not required to make any sort of agreement. It’s the hope that you do, but it’s not a requirement. You’re not forced to stay in mediation until you both agree on every aspect of your divorce settlement. If it’s not working, it’s not working. Some couples realize at some point they aren’t willing to negotiate on certain aspects of your divorce, and you might decide you’d rather fight it out with a judge there to help.
You are not forced to sign any paperwork. The only time you should sign anything in mediation is when you are done with your mediated agreement and you agree to it. If you do not agree to it, do not sign it. It’s not illegal to forgo signing something you don’t agree with. In fact, it’s illegal for anyone else to force you into signing an agreement you are not happy with.
I signed a mediation agreement I did not agree with, what do I do?
Now that you’ve signed it, ask yourself if you felt forced to do this or if you did it because you agreed to it in the moment. If you agreed to it in the moment and you’ve changed your mind after getting home and thinking about it, it’s a different situation. If you signed it because you felt overwhelmed or pressured into signing it, you do have options.
You need proof you were forced to sign. A judge is not going to let you walk into a courtroom and claim duress without some form of proof. People do this all the time just because they make a different decision later. If you have proof you were forced to sign the agreement, now is the time to provide that. Show the judge anything that corroborates your story. Do you have text messages from your spouse threatening to take the kids from you if you don’t sign the agreement giving him the house?
Do you have phone records that show his or her attorney called you repeatedly and harassed you to sign the mediation agreement even though you didn’t want to? Any proof you have that you were coerced into signing against your will is necessary if you want to have the agreement overturned and revised. If you don’t have proof, there is very little you can do to change the agreement and have a judge decide to let you make any alterations. It’s unfortunate when you are forced into signing and can’t prove it, which is why you should never allow anyone to threaten you or cause you to feel you need to do something you’re not comfortable doing.
Call an Attorney
The best way to handle a situation such as this is with the help of an attorney. An attorney knows your rights, how you can get through this, and what to do to help you with the situation. You might not know what to do right now, but your attorney can provide you with excellent advice and a chance to appeal the mediation agreement if you were forced. Call now to find out what you can do to help change this situation.