Posts Tagged ‘Petracca v. Petracca’

How Enforceable Are Prenuptial Agreements in New York?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Recent court decisions in New York State have caused uncertainty as to whether disputed prenuptial agreements are likely to be upheld. These agreements, which are contracts signed by a couple before a marriage begins, have generally been given the same strong presumption of validity as other contracts. However, decisions in two recent cases seem to run counter to tradition.

In Cioffi-Petrakis v. Petrakis, a New York appellate court affirmed the decision of a Nassau County trial judge which invalidated a prenuptial agreement signed by both parties. The agreement in dispute was signed four days before the marriage. The wife testified that she signed the agreement only after the husband verbally promised to tear it up once the couple had children.  (The written agreement itself did not provide that it would no longer be valid once the parties had children.)  Despite the three children that followed, the husband insisted upon enforcing the terms of the prenuptial agreement when marital difficulties arose. (more…)