Rutherford, NJ asked in Family Law for New Jersey

Q: can a retract an item that i said ok to in an consent order that hasn't been sign by judge in 10 months.

I agreed to more than I wanted to under duress. The judge put in an order for the one item (that helped me) but nothing came from the rest. But its just hanging out there. Can I get a lawyer to request it put taken off since it was never approved?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: That's a good question. As a general statement, when both parties notify the court that issues in dispute have been settled and they submit a signed writing to the court confirming the settlement terms, the court has the right to enforce those terms even if it has not signed off on the consent order (since is more of an administrative action instead of a required element).

If you try to renege on the terms, your ex will have the right to ask the court to sign it or to hold a Harrington Hearing to decide whether there was an agreement reached. Start with the presumption that since you signed off on the document, the court will presume that an agreement was reached, but under certain circumstances, you can move to set aside the term based on coercion, fraud, etc.

The bottom line is that you need to sit down with a family law attorney to review the issues outstanding, the negotiation process, the drafting of the document, and what has caused you to believe that you have the right to get out from under that term.

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