My wife's divorce lawyer submitted a divorce settlement proposal to me that stated any information included in the proposal cannot be disclosed or used as evidence in future hearings should they be needed.
She made false claims in the proposal in an attempt to disgrace me and get me riled up.
Do I have to agree to this clause? What is the purpose of a non-disclosure clause in the marital settlement agreement?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on New Jersey divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
I have not personally experienced a case in which the other spouse insisted on including a non-disclosure clause in the marital settlement agreement.
In my experience, the issue of disclosure is raised when the parties participate in mediation and subsequently have differing opinions on the terms and conditions suggested by the mediator.
Mediation proceedings are deemed confidential. Anything stated in mediation cannot be used in subsequent proceedings nor can the mediator be compelled to testify at a later hearing regarding the issues addressed during mediation.
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If you and your wife participated in mediation, then perhaps your wife's divorce attorney is suggesting that in the event the parties do not settle the case and instead proceed to trial, you will be prohibited from relying on anything that your wife stated during mediation.
Generally speaking, property settlement agreements are enforceable as long as they are just and equitable. Further, should you decide to resolve your divorce by way of a settlement agreement, the agreement with your former spouse is considered a contract which will be honored absent a showing of fraud or other compelling circumstances.
Moreover, because marital settlement agreements are consensual and voluntary, courts are inclined to favor their validity and enforceability.
You should never sign an agreement if you feel pressured or coerced into doing so. Since you have concerns regarding the proposal presented by your wife, you should seek the advice of an experienced men's divorce attorney who can review the facts of your particular case with you and discuss the legal options that may be available to you.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.