I Don’t Need It In Writing - - My Spouse Will Do the Right Thing by Don Sinkov{2:36 minutes to read} How many times have I had clients come in where one spouse, usually the husband, has controlled the finances throughout the marriage. He talks about how he has always done the right thing, and taken care of his wife and kids, because, “I am all about taking care of my family.”

And because that spouse has always been in control, when we start talking they have a tendency to take over the conversation. The other spouse might go along with it and agree that “He’s always done the right thing.” At which point, the husband will say something like, “We don’t need it in writing. I always take care of my wife and kids, and that’s what I’ll always do.

And of course, that is where, as a mediator I say, “Hold on. This isn’t a gentlemanly shake-hands agreement. This is going to eventually be a legally binding contract, so we have to put in the support levels and equitable distribution that an attorney might look at and agree that it is reasonable. You can make the decisions as to the exact numbers, but the basis cannot be “we don’t need it in writing, I’ll do the right thing.”

Get everything in writing. You can’t assume the other person will always do the right thing. As time goes on, things could change dramatically. People get re-married, start new families and sometimes give up their current careers to realize their dream of becoming a fishing boat captain in the Caribbean.  

Are they really “all about taking care of the family?”

Will my spouse do the right thing?

Do I really need a written Settlement Agreement that specifically divides marital assets and establishes support levels?

Yes, of course, they are all about taking care of the family.  And yes, of course, they will do the right thing.

And most definitely, you need a written Settlement Agreement. The Agreement affords protections and is enforceable because it is a binding contract.

Like President Reagan said, “Trust and verify.” Trust they’ll do the right thing, but verify it in a Settlement Agreement.

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: Info@YourDivorceMediator.com