Contract & Property Disputes

Contract Disputes

If you and your spouse reach agreement on the final division of your assets and liabilities and memorialize it into a Property Settlement Agreement or other similarly named document, you have likely included wording that the agreement constitutes the complete agreement of the parties. This is wording you want, as you do not want an open door for future disputes. However, it is possible that unforeseen events can impact on your agreement, and a dispute arises. The question then is, does the agreement reached provide for the unforeseen event, or does it not?

A common example is a "latent ambiguity". At the time the agreement was written, there was full understanding of what was being agreed to, but for unforeseen reasons, a term in the agreement, when applied to outside forces, now means two things. How do we decide? As always, if the parties agree, great; if not, the court, or alternate dispute resolution processes with the aid of counsel, may be a resource to utilize.

Modifications After Property Decisions Are Made

While a final decree of divorce is exactly that, situations may arise that require the court to revisit a final decree. Examples include if a party found that the other hid assets or otherwise lied to the court to gain an advantage, or a party was failing to abide by the court's ruling. In these and other instances, the court will step in to rectify the situation if the parties cannot agree on a resolution.

For more information, schedule a consultation or call 703.279.5140.

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FAQ

What if, after the contract is signed, there is something I want to change about it?

If it is an executed contract, and the contract is not ambiguous, it is not likely that you will be able to change it without agreement of the other party.

What if we do not agree about what a term in the contract means?

The plain meaning rule applies, but if that does not resolve the dispute among the parties, the court can step in and consider who drafted the contract and how the parties will be impacted by a reading of the contract in one way or another.

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