Q: My wife filed for divorce in Pennsylvania 5 years ago . I pay spousal support . In march of 2017 we made an agreement th
that if I signed over the house which I did she would finalize the divorce and the support payments would stop. I have the email from her lawyer and her stating the agreement . After I signed over the house they would not have any contact with me and 2 1/2 years later they still take support from my social security check . I've sent in everything required and still nothing . Her and her lawyer lied. How can I get this divorce finished . I am disabled and can't travel the 100 miles each way to court and can't afford an attorney . How can her and her lawyer lie and get away with it and I lost my home . Thanks
A: Sir, I am sorry you had this negative experience. In Pennsylvania, an agreement regarding child support is against public policy and will not prohibit a parent from seeking support for a minor child. Thus, if the agreement is for child support, it is null and void.
With respect to spousal support, you can agree not to pursue spousal support and that agreement would be upheld. However, the agreement must be filed with the court in order to be enforceable. In your question, you mentioned that you have the agreement in writing via an email. This type of agreement should be filed with the court prior to the divorce being granted in order to be enforceable. Under Pennsylvania law, where there is no agreement as to property rights, the court will not intervene in resolving a dispute after a divorce is granted. Accordingly, if the agreement was made by email and isn't signed by the parties and filed with the court, it will NOT be enforceable.
A: While I agree in principal with Attorney Galloway, I strongly urge you to find a way to retain an attorney to represent you. That would seem to be the only way you'll be able to address this issue with the court and get some relief from paying the spousal support. If you're unable to make the 100 mile trip to a court hearing, most courts in PA will permit you to appear by telephone.
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