Family Court of Delaware, New Castle County
407 A.2d 253 (Del. Fam. Ct. 1978)
G.A.S. (husband) (plaintiff) was married to S.I.S. (wife) (defendant). The husband suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was in and out of the hospital for treatment. Eventually, the wife filed for divorce. The husband did not want a divorce and sought to convince the wife to allow him to stay. The wife and her lawyer invited the husband into the lawyer’s office and presented the husband with a separation agreement. The husband signed it without reading it or having a lawyer of his own read it. The husband thought that signing the agreement would help his chances of reconciling the marriage. Also, when he signed the agreement, the husband was in the midst of recovering from a paranoid schizophrenic episode and was spending nights in the hospital for treatment. Hospital records also revealed that he was on a number of medications at the time. The agreement provided that the husband would pay $750 per month for child support. At the time, he was taking home $1300 per month in salary. In addition, the agreement provided that the wife would take control of the couple’s beach house. This was in addition to her control over the marital home, as the couple had four children. The husband brought suit to rescind the separation agreement based on undue influence. The trial court found in favor of the wife. The husband appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (James, J.)
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