Can I Change a Divorce Stipulation?

You can. In fact, you may be entitled to property or pension benefits. The decision to vacate or modify a pre-existing stipulation will ultimately depend on many factors.

There are many ways this could play out. In the case of Gerhardt v. Estate of Moore 150 Wis. 2d 563, 441 N.W.2d 734 (1989),[1] as an example, the child's case was initially dismissed by the circuit court. Upon review by the supreme court, the decision was reversed, granting the child the child support requested and full ownership of the father's pension benefits.

We can look to other cases to assist us in assessing the value of certain circumstances by finding similar situational outcomes, but there are no definite answers. Only probable outcomes. For your case, we can find some similarities in Norman v. Norman, 117 Wis. 2d 80, 342 N.W.2d 780 (Ct. App. 1983).[2] In this instance both parties had entered into a stipulation that was approved by the family court commissioner. The wife had changed her mind, and the judge found the stipulation was reasonable and fair. Upon appeal, the decision was reversed and she did not have to abide by the stipulation. This was based on the grounds that an entered stipulation is merely a recommendation to the court, and does not stand in regards to a contract.

With these types of situations is is recommended to have legal representation as you go through issues of family law.


References: [1]Gerhardt v. Estate of Moore, [2]Norman v. Norman


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