Husband dies shortly after court proceedings

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

If a couple goes to court, decide on settlement on May 5, the husband dies on August 15, but never signed papers, is there anything that can be done because of intent to divorce? (MS)

State: 
Mississippi

Answer: 

That is a great question and my answer is “probably not.” The first thing that you should do is check with a family law or probate attorney licensed to practice law in Mississippi to see if they have a different opinion. But generally speaking, the settlement agreement would have to be signed for it to be valid. But, there are a couple of things that the simple filing of the divorce petition might have had an impact on despite the fact that the settlement agreement was never signed. For example, in many states, the filing of the divorce petition stops marital property from accruing. A good analogy for your situation is someone who wrote a will, but never signed it. Unless some equitable exception came into play, the will would not be valid. – Wendy Jaffe, ESQ.

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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