Always Read Carefully – Court Won’t Overturn “Unfair” PSA

May 26th, 2015 by JBWK

Submitted by Berkley D. Foltz

A case came down recently where a judge found that although a document was “unfair” it was not unconscionable and thus required the parties to comply with its terms. A man had his ex-wife sign a property settlement agreement after telling her that it was a document allowing him to purchase a home in Maryland.

The agreement later became part of the final divorce decree. The wife testified that she scanned the document but did not truly read it and signed it based on what her ex-husband had told her. The document she signed was a property settlement agreement which made her responsible to pay her ex-husband $1,000 a month in child support and $1,500 a month in spousal support for 5 years.

The court found that she could not prove fraud on the part of her ex-husband and that the document was not unconscionable and thus the wife had to comply with its terms and continue to pay child and spousal support.

Furthermore, that she had to comply with the contract and pay the ex-husband’s attorney’s fees and costs totaling $23,580.90 for bringing the lawsuit. The court went on to state that people make bad deals all of the time and that under Virginia law, courts cannot simply void an unwise contract.

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