Many people make the practical decision to enter into marital agreements before or after marrying in an effort to protect their assets. While such agreements are designed to avoid protracted litigation regarding the division of property, in some instances, the agreements themselves become the topic of dispute. For example, parties may argue that marital agreements should be disregarded because they are unconscionable or arose out of fraud. As demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, though, a party seeking to set aside a postnuptial agreement faces a high burden of proof. If you need assistance drafting or defending a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is in your interest to speak to a seasoned New York family law attorney as soon as possible.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the husband and the wife married in 2005 when they were both in their fifties. At the time, the plaintiff owned her own business, and the husband was a successful attorney. Thus, they entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying that defined any income earned during the marriage as marital. After they were married, they entered into a postnuptial agreement that changed the definition of income earned during the marriage to separate property.
Reportedly, in 2016 the wife instituted divorce proceedings. The husband then moved to set aside the postnuptial agreement on the grounds of fraud, unconscionability, overreaching, and lack of consideration. The court denied the husband’s motion, and he appealed. Continue reading