It doesn’t happen often, but should a mistake in your final divorce settlement happen to you, you definitely want to know how to remedy it. The mistake could occur because of simple human error, or it could have happened because your ex failed to disclose important financial information or intentionally hid assets. So are you entitled to a divorce do-over in New Jersey? The answer is, it depends.
Under New Jersey Court Rule 4:50-1, a final order or judgment can be revoked for the following reasons:
- mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
- newly discovered evidence which would probably alter the judgment or order and which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under R. 4:49;
- fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;
- the judgment or order is void;
- the judgment or order has been satisfied, released or discharged, or a prior judgment or order upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment or order should have prospective application; or
- any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment or order.
Depending on the reason for the error, you can either negotiate or mediate a resolution. If that is not possible, you may then need to go to trial, where a judge will make the final decision on how the mistake will be corrected and the final settlement revisions.
If you have found a significant error in your final divorce settlement agreement, bring it to your lawyer’s attention immediately. Provide any relevant evidence or details about the mistake that you have learned since the final settlement agreement was signed. Your attorney will be able to prepare a motion to reopen your divorce if warranted. If the mistake was because your ex failed to disclose important information or intentionally misled you, you may want to consider pursuing sanctions against him or her.
You can rely on Murphy & Cistaro to skillfully negotiate and mediate your issues to a satisfactory resolution. Should the need arise, you can also count on our experience for being aggressive litigators if the situation calls for a more assertive response. Contact us today for your free consultation.