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sipulated custody order signed under coercion. what’s next?

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by Jinnnnnn, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. Jinnnnnn

    Jinnnnnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My former husband and I have been in a years long custody battle about my 6 yr. old daughter. He has threatened me before and this time he threatened me that if I did not sign a stipulated order and pay him a ranson of $7000 that he would make sure I would not see my child ever again and made more threats he would ruin my life otherwise, etc. Terrified, I panicked and signed and paid. Aside from being afraid I also knew that going to court, due to covid, it could take 6 months or more for a judgment giving me parenting time, so this was not an option.

    I have to fight the current, unbearable condition of only having my daughter once a month. I would never have signed had I not felt coerced. What is the legal remedy to void a ruling?

    Many thank yous.



    PS: Please do not say “get a lawyer”. I already know that and I would not be posting here if I could.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You might wish to take all the PROOF you possess that illustrates your assertions to the appropriate law enforcement agency and see if law enforcement can assist you.
     
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  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You are likely find that overturning that stipulated order will be extremely difficult. The exact threats your ex made and the evidence you have to prove it matters, but understand that if threats were that he would use legal means to ensure that you'd not see your kid again, "ruin your life" or whatever then there was no duress. Duress (which is coercion that would support overturning a contract, will, court agreement, etc) generally means use of force or threat of force, or the threat to take some other illegal kind of action if you don't agree to what he wanted. When faced with threats of legal consequences, you have to decide how likely it is that you think those things would happen and whether you are willing to take that risk if you don't agree. If you decide you aren't willing to take the risks of saying no and agree with what he wants, that's generally going to be on you. As for not wanting to wait 6 months for a decision, that certainly isn't a reason that a court will say is duress. You'll find litigating to try to overturn the stipulated order is likely to take you longer than that 6 months you feared before, with no guarantee you'll succeed. And unfortunately, trying to litigate to overturn that stipulation based on duress is not a good do it yourself project. While you don't want to hear it, you'd be well advised to have an attorney for that.
     
  4. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Please clarify exactly what was said, how he said he would "make sure" you never saw the child again and in what way he was going to ruin your life.
     
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  5. Jinnnnnn

    Jinnnnnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    thank you but force or violence are much preferable to any loving parent than having their child taken. It is hard for me to understand how this could not be perceived as the most extreme form of coercion and blackmail. thanks again
     
  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    As you haven't clarified what he said/did to coerce you, we can't really "perceive" anything. If you want help then please clarify what happened. If you just want to vent what a bad and evil man he is, find a parenting site to tell your story.
     
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  7. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Active Member

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    The problem is that you have no proof off this.
    You did not record it.
    It is not in writing.
    You never reported anything to the police.

    The option you are left with: exercise every minute of parenting time that you are allowed, and wait. There may be non-visitation opportunities to be present in your child's life. Get active at your child's school, for example.
     
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  8. Jinnnnnn

    Jinnnnnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your replies and sorry for the hiatus. One poster says that the definition of coercion is to get someome to do something illegal under threat. I don't understand that. If I hold up someone at gunpoint and take their money wouldn't that be coercion? And there is nothing illegal about taking someone's money.

    Secondly, I do have in writing some of the tactics used. My ex-husband, in a court filing claimed I assaulted him and the child (which is not true not even conceivable). Based on that, undoubtedly the court would have given me no access to my child at all. The courts don't bother to verify information. They just do what they want to do and such horrible claim would affect any judge to "err" on the safe side.

    Also, I do not mean to argue with the kind people here who replied. I just have a really hard time wrapping my mind around that it would not only condoned by the courts but impossible to fight that one person gets another person to agree to something solely by putting that person under extreme fear and pressure. I am not a lawyer but to me a situation like this seems to be among the very basic rules of why laws even exist, like you cannot steal, assault, etc...

    I mean if you read the law code about harassment, stalking, etc.. many of these things are felonies. Threatening a parent to take their child and ruin their life seems so far worse than, let's say, stalking or harassment, I just cannot believe there would no remedy. And what would be the reason for that? Thank you
     
  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    What exactly did your ex say to you that was coercive? What happened in court when your ex said that you assaulted the child?

    If you pull a gun on someone and take their money that would be armed robbery.
     
  10. Jinnnnnn

    Jinnnnnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    there was no court hearing as I signed the "stipulated" order. If you still cannot put yourself in my horrific place based on that I described then I don't think anything else I am saying will have any effect. You simply cannot understand the state of mind I was put in in the described circumstances. thanks
     
  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I would understand if you would actually tell us what he said to you. So, again, what exactly did he say to you and how did he threaten to ruin your life?
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Internet strangers don't need to understand anything, as internet strangers can do nothing to extricate you from the circumstances of which you now complain.

    Legally, whatever a person alleges in a lawsuit is protected speech.
    The law does set aside a remedy or two for certain forms of speech in said pleadings, perjury comes to mind.

    However, your issues aren't going to be solved or even argued properly unless you obtain the services of an advocate, as in an attorney.

    It appears to me that the other party is demolishing you because he/she/it has retained a very aggressive advocate, as in attorney.

    If you won't (or can't) hire an attorney, expect NOTHING to change or improve.

    Best of luck to you, may you one day know true peace and joy.
     
  13. sandyeggo

    sandyeggo Member

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    You obviously did something that made him make that accusation and subsequently scared you so bad that you signed a stipulation. Care to explain? Innocent people don't react the way you did.
     
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  14. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Active Member

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    Were you held at gunpoint? No. So don't compare it.

    For emergency, temporary orders, they err on the side of caution.

    However, you would have the opportunity to contest such allegations at a follow up hearing before the temporary orders become a final order, if you chose to do to. And depending on whose version seems more credible, you could have even prevailed.

    That you are gullible and believed your ex-husband more credible than yourself is not coercion.

    In fact, having this in writing proves nothing, save that there were allegations against you, and you signed willingly rather than repudiate them. Yes. "Willingly." You weighed your options and decided to sign. There was no gun to your head, there was no knife at your throat.

    Here's the thing: you signed.

    You have no proof that you were, say, tortured... that he chained you to a wood chipper, pulled out your toe nails one by one, and was going to throw the rest of you in if you did not sign. (Just an extreme example.) Nope. He did not touch a single hair of yours; he just threatened to make allegations in court that he could not prove.

    So, rather than facing a temporary order that could be thrown out if you contested it, you chose to sign an agreement. The agreement you signed is legally binding. You cannot backtrack on it to get the order changed; the judge is not going to accept that.

    Your only recourse is time and a change of circumstances (for the child, not you).
    This may not happen for years. Meaning that out fear of not seeing your child for 6 months, you signed onto an arrangement that could remain in effect for years. This does not make you come across as rational.

    In the meantime, my advice stands:

     
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  15. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You're right. We can't. But the point is that your ex didn't put a gun to your head and didn't threaten to kill or injure you. You made a decision to pick up the pen and sign the paper. You could have said no and gone to battle but you didn't.
     
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  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="Jinnnnnn, post: 318904, member: 131139]"One poster says that the definition of coercion is to get someome to do something illegal under threat[/QUOTE]
    That's not what was said - read it again.

    What was said was that threatening to do something illegal against you if you don't do as the person wishes could be coercion. So, threatening to beat you up, or threatening to beat up your brother...those would be coercion. Threatening to take you to court and report the things you had done is not coercion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    One person said another person did some bad things.
     
  18. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You misunderstood what I said. In general, duress as defined in the law is where someone compels another to do something (or not do something) by physical force, threat of physical force, or the use or threat of some other illegal means to get you to agree. So, if someone put a gun to your head and made you sign a contract that would be situation where you signed under duress and you could get the contract voided if you could prove the duress.

    The point here is that a threat to do something to you that is legal for the person to do is not duress and generally wouldn't be the basis for nullifying an agreement that you make. The threat made might not be pleasant and you may feel like you are being forced into something, but legally you had the choice to not agree to whatever was demanded and you made a choice the deal was over all better for you.


    The exact things he said matter. Some threats are legal, others are not. Exactly what did he say?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
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