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Wife Tries to Set Aside a Prenuptial Agreement

A husband and wife entered into a prenuptial agreement several weeks prior to their marriage. The wife has brought a proceeding to set aside the prenuptial agreement based on coercion and duress. In her moving papers, she advised the court she trusted her husband and signed the agreement because he told her to do so. She also claimed she didn’t understand what she signed because no one explained the agreement to her. In addition, she claimed she could not read or write in the English language well enough to understand the legalese contained in the prenuptial agreement.

Wife Represented by Counsel

The attorney for the husband argued the wife had misrepresented what transpired. To start with, she was represented by an attorney of her choosing. Her attorney testified at a hearing that if he had felt the wife did not understand the agreement or understand him, he would have hired an interpreter. All of his negotiations and discussions with her were in the English language. He had no reason to believe she did not understand him when they were talking together. And he believed she understood the agreement that was executed.

The Court’s Decision

Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Sunshine sitting in a divorce part in Kings County found the wife’s allegations that she did not understand English, “patently incredible.” He stated in his decision she obtained a degree in English while living in Russia. She taught Russians to speak English while living in Russia and also taught Russians to speak English while living in the United States. The wife had executed the agreement at its end. She had sufficient opportunity to meet with her attorney. There was no evidence she was defrauded into signing the prenuptial agreement or duress was used in motivating her to execute the prenuptial agreement. Justice Sunshine found no reason to set aside the prenuptial agreement.

Conclusion

This is an example of a wife trying to convince a court to set aside a prenuptial agreement based on nonsensical arguments. The purpose of prenuptial agreements is to lock in the parties’ financial responsibilities in order to avoid litigation at the time of separation or the death of one of the parties. In this case, it looks like the wife decided she was not satisfied with what she was getting in the prenuptial agreement so she took a shot at setting it aside. Unfortunately for her she had no valid reason to set aside the prenuptial agreement.assistance for fathers in divorce litigation

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.