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Can I appeal the mediated agreement if I felt forced to sign?

It is possible for a person to enter into a mediated divorce settlement agreement for the wrong reasons. The situation at the time could have caused one spouse to feel they had no choice but to sign the agreement. It’s possible they got bad legal advice or had pressure put on them from certain family member and more. Should they regret entering into the agreement; there are things that can be done to change it.

Mediation
This is a procedure that in some ways resembles litigation. Each spouse will agree to follow specific procedures as well as rules of law. What will be contained in their agreement is left to an arbiter or referee to decide. The role of an arbiter in this situation is to help both parties participate in the outcome of the divorce. A couple will be responsible for solving their marital issues on their own. The goal of the mediation is to create terms for a divorce that each spouse will agree is best for their individual situation. It’s important for divorcing couples to know an arbiter’s decision is binding. The divorce settlement agreement will be submitted to a Supreme Court judge for confirmation. A party may have grounds for an appeal if they can prove the arbiter’s decision was made arbitrarily or was based on mistakes.

Motions
It is possible to ask a court to modify a divorce judgment. This will require a legal motion to the court known as a motion to modify. It is possible during the court trial to ask for specific portions of the divorce agreement to be changed. This can be done even if the agreement has been signed and the divorce judgment entered into the legal record. The arrangements for spousal support, child support as well as visitation schedules can be changed with this motion. It is often made when something unexpected occurs during the proceedings. It could be one spouse being laid off from their job, a spouse being arrested for drugs or incarcerated and more.

Appeals
Should the mediated agreement be accepted by a court, it’s possible to appeal this decision to a higher court. The fact someone felt forced to sign the agreement or experienced some other type of extenuating circumstance could be the reason for the appeal. These circumstances will form the basis for the appeal and will be written in a brief filed with the court by an individual’s attorney. It will argue the trial court judge made the wrong decision based on the arguments described in the brief.

Reopening Divorce Case
It is also possible to submit an application to reopen a divorce case. This will only be successful if the person requesting it is able to show mistaken negotiations took place, there was fraud or misconduct. It may also be granted if the party requesting the action is able to show the divorce agreement is based on unfairness and inequity. Doing this can be a challenge. A person requesting it must be able to provide solid proof the divorce agreement was based on a serious mistake, fraud or deceit.

The goal of an attorney during a divorce proceeding is to help their client have a sense of control over what is happening in their life. Things can go wrong, and it is possible to still find an acceptable resolution when this happens. In many cases, court intervention may not be needed but can always be used if necessary.