person signing name

Maybe You Should Read That Agreement Into the Record

We've all done it.  You settle the divorce on the day of the hearing.  One of the attorneys is to draft the decree and send to the other for approval.  "Do we want to read it into the record?" one of the attorneys or the judge may ask.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

In this case, the answer (assuming the question was asked) was "no."  Later, husband's attorney, who was not supposed to have drafted the decree, drafted it anyway.  It was sent to the judge.  A notation was entered on the signature line for wife's attorney that read "No objection received" and had unintelligible initials next to it.  The judge signed the decree and it was entered.

Evidently, wife finds out what has happened and files to have the decree vacated and/or amended.  The judge does not rule on the motion and therefore it is deemed denied.  She appeals.  The appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision or lack thereof.  It seems that her fatal mistake was that evidently no facts were provided to the trial court (or the appellate court) showing how the decree failed to reflect what the parties had agreed to.  She merely requested that it be amended or vacated.  This was not sufficient.

Hard to say, but it seems that having read the agreement into the record would have helped her cause here.  However, providing facts in the motion to vacate or amend would have also solved the problem.  At any rate, be careful when you elect not to read the agreement into the record.

Here's the link....