Where the results of a 2007 prenuptial agreement waiver of maintenance would be a risk that a mother of three children would become a public charge, the agreement would be set aside for being unconscionable at the time of divorce. So held the Appellate Division, Second Department, in its January 10, 2018 decision in Taha
Failure in Prenup to Specify Earnings as Separate Property Warrants Recoupment
The failure of a prenuptial agreement to specify that earnings during the marriage were separate propertywarranted a breach-of-contract recovery as part of a distribution on divorce when those earnings used to pay sparate liabilities. So held Supreme Court New York County Justice Laura E. Drager in her January 15, 2014 decision in R.B. v. M.I (New York Law Journal published decision).
Once again, the focus of the court’s attention was on the import of a prenuptial provision that limited marital property to that held jointly by the parties.
In Zinter v. Zinter, Saratoga County Supreme Court Justice Thomas D. Nolan, Jr., last month held it was unconscionable for a prenuptial agreement to give the husband power to control whether earnings and other after-marriage acquired property would be placed into joint or indiviual accounts, and thus marital or separate property (see, my March 17, 2014 blog post).
Here, the Justice Drager held that whether pproperty was owned jointly or individually at the commencement of the divorce action did not end the inquiry, if a breach of contract claim arising during the marriage is viable.…
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Court Strikes Prenup Provision Giving Husband the Power to Determine Whether After-Marriage Acquired Property was Marital or Separate
After surgically excising eight words, Saratoga County Supreme Court Justice Thomas D. Nolan, Jr., in his February 7, 2014 decision in Zinter v. Zinter, upheld the balance of a prenuptial agreement. Those words had given the husband the unconscionable power to control whether earnings and other after-marriage acquired property would be placed into joint or indiviual accounts, and thus marital or separate property.
In this divorce action, the parties were married on December 23, 2005. The wife was then 29 years old, a music teacher with a Master’s degree, and reported a net worth of $71,500.00. The husband was then 35 years old, a college graduate, and an officer and part owner of his family-owned and operated business, with a reported net worth of approximately $2.7 million.
The husband had retained an attorney to prepare a prenuptial agreement. In November 2005, both the prospective husband and prospective wife met with that attorney to review the proposed agreement. At the time, the wife was not represented by counsel. The husband’s attorney provided the wife with the names of three attorneys experienced in matrimonial law. Shortly thereafter, she retained one of them, with whom the wife met three times before the agreement was signed four days before the marriage.…
Continue Reading Court Strikes Prenup Provision Giving Husband the Power to Determine Whether After-Marriage Acquired Property was Marital or Separate