Family Law Case Updates

A Marital Settlement Agreement Signed Under Duress Will Result in a Rescission of the Contract

The Court of Appeal held that the husband’s conduct toward the wife in connection with the execution of the settlement agreement constituted duress sufficient for rescission of the contract; the Orange County divorce court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the wife attorney’s fees in connection with the rescission action even though the wife’s Orange County divorce attorney presented no evidence that she was in need of funds to pay her attorney; and that the Orange County divorce court did not abuse its discretion in making an award of attorney’s fees in connection with the services to be rendered at the future trial of the dissolution proceedings.

A Failure to Request a Statement of Decision Results in a Waiver of Such Findings

The Court of Appeal held that a memorandum of intended decision, indicating that the Orange County divorce court erroneously applied the statute retroactively in determining the amount of spousal support was not part of the record on appeal and a party could not appeal the Orange County divorce judgment on the basis of retroactive application as she failed to request a statement of decision and/or a transcript of the proceeding and the judgment was silent with respect to the Orange County divorce court’s reasoning.

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