AVOID AMBIGUOUS TERMS IN DIVORCE AGREEMENTS
DIVORCE LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY NY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 32 years of experience suggests that it is important to exhaustively spell out each and every term of a Divorce Stipulation of Settlement to avoid future litigation.
In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a divorce settlement which contained ambiguous terms regarding the sale of the party’s former residence. The Appellate Division rejected the suggestion that the delay in seeking the sale of the residence did not constitute a waiver of the defendant’s right to compel a sale. The party’s judgment of divorce provided that the party’s residence “should” be immediately listed for sale and that Defendant was entitled to 25% of the equity in the residence. It also provided that the parties shall “cooperate” in selling the residence. The Court determined that the only reasonable interpretation of those terms was that the residence was supposed to be sold immediately.
I try to avoid drafting Agreements that contain loose or ambiguous terms. It is better to overstate the terms of a Divorce Settlement than to leave it up to the parties to work out later. In many cases that does not happen, and litigation ensues. I strive to carefully draft Agreements relating to the disposition of assets and apportionment of liabilities.
Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 30 years.
Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island Divorce and Family Law Attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 516-747-2290.
My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall ring road at 666 Old Country Road in Garden City, New York.
Written by, H. MICHAEL STERN, Divorce Lawyer, Nassau County NY