Monday, December 23, 2013

Penny wise but pound foolish

The name of this case recently decided by the New Jersey Superior Court should be "Penny wise but pound foolish."  Husband and Wife divorced in 2007 and drafted their Marital Settlement Agreement and Divorce Complaint without any input from lawyers.  Although it is not clear from the opinion, it appears as if they cobbled together language from other agreements they found - on the internet or otherwise.

Unfortunately, the poorly written agreement resulted in over three and one half years of subsequent litigation --- beginning in June 2010, the first time the parties started squabbling over the terms of the document, resulting in the hiring of lawyers, depositions, discovery, court hearings, appraisals and ultimately an appeal to the NJ Superior Court.  The moral of the story?  Draft your agreement correctly the first time and obtain competent legal counsel to guide you through the process.  You can read the entire case, captioned Garofalo v. Kutch, here.

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