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Is a self-drafted, signed and dated document outlining a debt payment plan a legal and binding document between spouses?

| Nov 23, 2015 | Uncategorized

Q: My spouse and I are in the process of going our separate ways. For my financial security and peace of mind we’ve discussed and agreed on a plan to assume equal responsibility for outstanding debt. Payment details have been specified in a written document for which we intend to sign two respective copies. Does this in effect represent and legal and binding document that either party can be held accountable for in a court of law both pre/post divorce? If not, what would be the best remedy to establish an agreement/document that can be enforced in a court of law? Thank you

A: David’s Answer: It depends on how it was done, as the law provides if agreements are not done as pre-nups, post-nups, separation agreements or stipulations of settlement (& in the legally-prescribed manner), then the agreement must generally have “consideration” (i.e., a bargained-for exchange) to be a binding contract. As such, you’re best advised to bring the agreement to an attorney so s/he may review it. Call a Westchester Divorce attorney to schedule a consult. –David Bliven, Westchester Divorce Attorney.

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