In most cases, a contract is a contract, but there are ways to get the court to void the agreement. This may include your divorce settlement, if you have a valid legal reason to get it tossed. However, doing so generally is quite difficult, because courts prefer to uphold contracts.
Actor Terrence Howard is in court, fighting to get his 2012 divorce settlement voided. He says his former wife blackmailed him into agreeing to the settlement by threatening to sell embarrassing cell phone videos and to get him audited by the Internal Revenue Service, WNBC-TV reports.
At a recent hearing, his attorney played a tape of a phone conversation Howard and his then-wife had in 2011, around the time their marriage fell apart. In the tape, the wife can be heard threatening to sell a video of Howard singing while naked in the bathroom for $2 million. She also accused him of infidelity and claimed she had called the IRS to report improper deductions Howard had taken.
In a deposition, Howard’s sister-in-law told the court that the ex-wife told her that the ex-wife had taken a cellphone belonging to Howard that had a sex tape on it. Howard’s attorney called these claims an effort to extort a divorce settlement out of his client.
In contract law, a party who can show he or she agreed to a contract under duress may be able to get the contract voided. In this case, it appears that Howard is arguing that he only agreed to the settlement to avoid embarrassment and possible tax trouble.