RECENT APPELLATE DECISION PREVENTS ONE PARTY FROM SEEKING A RESTRUCTURING OF TERMS CONCERNING REAL ESTATE WHICH DIFFER FROM THE PARTIES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
DIVORCE LAWYER NASSAU COUNTY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests that if there is uncertainty concerning the disposition of property subject to distribution in a divorce, that the parties should avoid waiving their rights to have a Court determine the disposition if a subsequent dispute arises between them.
In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court held that where the parties Stipulation of Settlement clearly provided for the method of distribution of their real estate, that the Court was not permitted to change or rewrite the disputed terms of the parties agreement. Furthermore, the Appellate Court held that since the parties Stipulation of Settlement had contained a waiver of equitable distribution, the terms of the agreement prevented the Court from addressing the distribution of property, deeming the issue fully resolved.
In my opinion, where there is uncertainty concerning the disposition of property in a divorce, the best practice is to avoid any waiver and include a clause reserving jurisdiction for the Court to address all aspects of the distribution of the asset following the settlement. In both Stipulations of Settlement and Separation Agreements, I have routinely provided for a reservation of rights by the Court to address all aspects of the process of liquidating real property, as it has been my experience that unforeseen problems can arise that require judicial involvement. If a problem arises, it is best to have the Court available to help facilitate and implement the party’s intentions.
I use my best efforts to settle all divorce cases. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 34 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 by phone at
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Written by, H. Michael Stern, Divorce Lawyer Nassau County, NY