Cameron v. Cameron
Not to be published but accepted for discretionary review.
This divorce action arose out of husband and wife’s second marriage to one another. In the course of divorce proceedings, Husband’s attorney drafted an Agreement dividing all marital and non-marital property equally. Both parties signed the Agreement. Wife was not represented by counsel when she signed. Additionally, the Agreement was not filed at the time of execution. Eventually, Wife filed an answer and counter petition in response to Husband’s petition. She attached the Agreement as an exhibit. Husband contested the Agreement and argued the parties had reconciled after they signed the Agreement or, alternatively, the Agreement was unconscionable. The TC found the parties did not reconcile and the agreement was not unconscionable. The Agreement was incorporated into the final decree. CA affirmed the decision of the TC.
CA reasoned that when an agreement is fully executed, reconciliation does not abrogate the agreement unless that is the parties’ intent. When the terms of an agreement are executory, reconciliation and resumption of cohabitation nullifies the agreement. However, in all instances, “the most important factor in determining whether there has been a reconciliation is the parties’ intentions.”
Husband and Wife had taken a couple of trips to Mexico. Also, Husband testified they had started looking for a house so they could move back in together. Wife testified she had spent the night at husband’s house after the Agreement was signed but her intentions were never to cohabitate again. CA held an attempted reconciliation does not abrogate the Agreement. Therefore, it upheld the decision of the TC.
Also, CA found the Agreement was not unconscionable. Husband argued he thought signing the Agreement would dismiss the divorce action. Wife testified she thought the Agreement explained her portion of the property settlement if they should divorce. CA held that the Agreement may have been a bad bargain, but it was not unconscionable.
Digest by Linda Dixon Bullock, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates