Articles Posted in Prenuptial Agreement

In New York, parties entering into marriage have the right to protect their interests via prenuptial agreements. Generally, the courts will enforce valid prenuptial agreements, but parties may attempt to challenge enforcement by arguing, among other things, that the provisions of the agreement are vague. As demonstrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York divorce action, however, such challenges will not be successful if the court finds the agreement is written in plain language that has a precise meaning. If you have a prenuptial agreement and you want to end your marriage, it is smart to talk to a New York divorce attorney to determine how the agreement may impact your case.

Factual and Procedural Background

Reportedly, the parties married in December 2008. The wife came to the United States on a 90-day fiancée visa that was set to expire shortly before the marriage. The husband asked the wife to sign a prenuptial agreement that his attorney drafted, and the wife complied, signing the agreement two days prior to the wedding.

Allegedly, the agreement contained an escalator clause that required the husband to transfer certain assets to the wife on the tenth anniversary of their marriage. The husband filed for divorce in May 2018 but argued that the prenuptial agreement was unenforceable because it was vague. The court found in favor of the wife and enforced the agreement. The husband appealed. Continue reading

Many people with significant wealth opt to enter into prenuptial agreements prior to getting married in an effort to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. While the courts generally favor upholding prenuptial agreements, in some circumstances, they will be deemed unenforceable and therefore void. In a recent opinion, a New York court discussed the grounds for finding a prenuptial agreement to be unconscionable in a divorce case in which the wife sought to have an agreement set aside and vacated. If you or your future spouse wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying, it is important to speak to an experienced New York family law attorney regarding your options.

The Parties Prenuptial Agreement

It is reported that the parties entered into a prenuptial agreement in 2003, prior to getting married. The agreement contained provisions regarding separate property, child support, child custody, and estate and maintenance waivers. The husband paid for an attorney to represent the wife with regards to the agreement, but she did not choose the attorney and never met him prior to signing the agreement. Additionally, the attorney did not advise her of the financial implications of the agreement.

Allegedly, in 2019, the wife filed for divorce. During the proceedings, she filed a motion to have the agreement set aside as unconscionable and vacated. In response, the husband filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue of whether the agreement was valid and enforceable. The court ultimately determined that an issue of fact that necessitated a hearing existed on the issue of the validity of the agreement. Continue reading

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