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Prenuptial Agreement

Examining the “gift defense” in Sclafani v. Sclafani

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When a couple divorces in New York and cannot agree on how to divide marital property, the court will make a decision using the state’s equitable distribution laws. But before any dividing can occur, it has to identify separate vs. marital property. Separate property consists of assets and debts that belong to one spouse only…

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Prenuptial agreements made abroad: Van Kipnis v. Van Kipnis

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If you draw up a prenuptial agreement in another country, will its terms be enforced in New York state? In 2008, the New York Court of Appeals answered this question in Van Kipnis v. Van Kipnis. Gregory and Claire Van Kipnis were married in Paris, France, in 1965. He was a U.S. citizen who had…

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New York’s equitable distribution law explained

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When you divorce in New York today, Domestic Relation Law Section 236 requires the marital estate to be divided equitably. In this sense, “equitable” means fair as opposed to equal, although New York family court judges strive to divide assets in a manner that gives each spouse what they need to pursue an independent life…

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Enforcing marital agreements in New York: Matisoff v. Dobi

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There are different types of marital agreements in New York state, including divorce settlement agreements, marital separation agreements, and stipulations of settlement. What they all have in common is that their contents must valid by statute if the parties want to enforce them. This condition was confirmed by the New York Court of Appeals in…

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Protecting inheritances in a New York divorce

inheritance laws

When you’re married, you share everything in your lives, even assets that you inherited. Perhaps your parents left you a beautiful vacation home, or you have a rare coin collection from your grandfather. If the marriage ends in divorce, you naturally want to keep that property, especially if it has strong sentimental and financial value.…

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Where do gifts fit into New York divorce settlements?

marital property - gifts

When divorcing spouses divide assets, gifts often become a subject of dispute, especially if they are valuable ones. Under New York law, gifts to either spouse from a third party (e.g. a friend or family member) are the separate property of the recipient, but there are ways that they can become part of the marital…

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Prenuptial agreements in New York

prenup before wedding concept

At one time, prenuptial agreements were regarded as a formality, and an insulting one at that. Today, however, they are becoming the norm, especially for couples with high net worth. In a prenuptial agreement, you and your future spouse disclose and itemize all the assets you own prior to getting married, and then agree on…

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Tips for same-sex couples preparing for divorce

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Divorce is never easy, but same-sex couples have their own unique concerns when it comes time to end the marriage. Read on to learn more about to handle this situation appropriately. Talk to an attorney first You need a New York divorce attorney who has experience dealing with these kinds of special issues. Since rules…

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Why cohabitation agreements matter

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Avoiding the complexities of marriage and a potential divorce might sound good if you choose to live together instead, but you should know the downsides of pursuing this route, too. Couples living together in New York do not have the protection of a common law marriage to provide rights related to medical decisions, survivor benefits,…

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Role of a prenup during a divorce

planning with a prenup

In the event that you file for divorce, this situation subjects a prenuptial agreement for scrutiny. The discussion over whether to have a prenuptial agreement can be difficult as you enter into a marriage with your new spouse, but if used properly, it is a valuable planning tool. Many hope that this agreement will never…

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How to bring up a prenuptial agreement

prenup agreement talk

There is no doubt about it; the conversation about a premarital agreement may be awkward at best, and explosive at worst. Read on to learn some tips about how to broach this situation in a calm manner that promotes open communication. First of all, suggest the conversation at a time when you are already working…

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New York State Domestic Relations Law summarized

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The Domestic Relations Law is part of New York’s legal code. This part is often abbreviated, DRL. The DRL is composed of sixteen articles. These articles form the backbone of New York’s laws on marriage, divorce and family law. A summary of each article of the DRL follows. Article 1 The article gives the short…

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New York judge declares foreign prenup invalid

cancel pernup agreement

A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a “prenup,” is an agreement between individuals before they marry. Typically, each party has his or her own lawyer and together; they create a contingency agreement that states what will happen to the couple’s property and assets should the couple decided to split up or get divorced. In…

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If a pre-nup is not possible, then a divorce trust might be a good idea


Prior to getting married some people might want to protect their assts. As a result, some people enter into a prenuptial agreement which is an agreement that is entered into before marriage by the married couple to be. The prenuptial agreement protects the couples’ assets should a divorce result. However, some people are afraid to…

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Judge Drager brings back an action to enforce a prenuptial agreement signed in Manhattan, after the wife tried to go against it in a Singapore court, where the couple is now residing, according to the New York Law Journal on May 30, 2012. The couple signed a prenuptial agreement, waiving rights to seek maintenance in…

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Defective prenuptial agreement may be upheld in New York courts

New York appeals court finally makes a decision regarding defected prenuptial agreements, as reported in a June 19th, 2012 New York Law Journal article. Over the years the New York courts have seen much debate on how to handle prenuptials that are found to not be binding over a small error. Until recently, the appeals…

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Rent controlled apartments are not a marital asset says judge

The New York State Court of Appeals recently ruled that rental apartments, including rent-controlled apartments, are neither marital nor separate property. A June 21, 2012 New York Law Journal article discusses what this means for couples seeking divorce. The ruling specifies that the rental apartment must be one that will not be changed into an…

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Prenuptial agreement dismissed on the grounds the husband misled wife

A 1998 prenuptial agreement was ruled to be null and voided after close inspection by the New York State courts, as reported by The New York Law Journal in a December 30th, 2011 article. The courts found that the divorcing wife was misled into signing the prenuptial agreement. The wife demonstrated to the court that…

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Turning a cohabitation agreement into a prenuptial agreement

Cohabiting agreements are not only used for heterosexuals who wish not to marry but also for same-sex couples, as reported in an August 1st, 2011 New York Law Journal article. Although New York legalized same-sex marriages in July, many same-sex couples do not wish to make the ultimate leap into marriage yet. While others who…

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Cohabitating on the rise in U.S. society

Cohabitation agreements are becoming more of the norm in today’s society, as reported in an August 1st, New York Law Journal article. Roughly 40% of adults in the U.S. have lived with a significant other for an extended period of time without receiving any of the benefits of being married. Additionally, a recent AARP study…

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Terminating a cohabitation agreement

When forming a cohabitation agreement there are a few issues that must be addressed in the document to protect the parties best interest, as reported in an August 1st, 2011 New York Law Journal article. One issue is deciding what terms and conditions will lead to the termination of the contract. The courts view statements…

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New York family lawyer gives quick tips on drafting a cohabitation agreement

The economy has made an impact on society across the board, including on the average family’s living arrangement. Instead of getting married or divorced nowadays, more and more couples are turning to “cohabitation,” mainly because it is cheaper than a wedding or a divorce. However, when in a cohabiting situation there are still rules that…

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