Category Archives: Agreements

The Failure to Read and Understand An Agreement Does Not Invalidate It

Yesterday, I noted that there seemed to be a rash of cases challenging the validity of prenuptial agreements. Today, I continue my review with a case the sends the message that you had better read and fully understand the agreement before you sign it, particularly if you are “well educated.” Blindly entering into an agreement…
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Prior Claim of Mental Illness Does Not Invalidate Pre-Nuptial Agreement

The New York Probate Litigation Blog highlights the recently decided case of Estate of Joseph Menaham, in which a widow’s attempt to nullify a pre-nuptial agreement was rejected by the Surrogates’ Court. Prior to marriage, the wife, now a widow, was diagnosed, hospitalized and treated for a bipolar disorder. Following her release, she entered into…
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Domestic Partnerships and the Continuation of Maintenance

Postings in two divorce and family law blogs highlight a growing conflict between the states on how to deal with a parties continuing obligation to pay alimony or maintenance, as it called in New York, if the former spouse enters into a domestic partnership. To frame the issue, what happens if you are obligated to…
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Settlement Agreement Ambiguities Result in More Litigation

The Appellate Division in Walker v. Walker provides us with yet another lesson on the importance of carefully drafting martial agreements. In Walker, the parties, in an oral stipulation of settlement, agreed to divide a 75 acre property. The stipulation specifically provided that defendant "would be entitled to one-half or 37½; acres off the westerly…
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A Parent’s Obligation to Pay for College Does Not Include Graduate Studies

A father, who had agreed to contribute to his child’s college education, was not responsible for contributing to the costs of the child’s post-graduate degree. In the recently decided case of Robinson v. Gerny (New York Law Journal) (subscription required), the Court ruled that “The word ‘college’ denotes attendance at an undergraduate program resulting in…
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