Prenuptial Agreement

Long Island’s Best Divorce Lawyer said this matrimonial proceeding was the result of Defendant Husband interposing a Prenuptial Agreement executed in Spain as an affirmative defense to Plaintiff Wife’s request for equitable distribution.  The Prenuptial Agreement was signed in Madrid, Spain one year before the parties were married, stated that there was to be a “system of absolute separation of property,” and the Agreement was silent as to choice of law.  The presumption as to prenuptial agreements is that they are “generally valid and enforceable given the strong public policy favoring individuals ordering and deciding their own interests through contractual agreements.”


A Nassau County Divorce Attorney said this was an interesting case of two foreign nationals married in the Dominican Republic and purchased an apartment in New York which became the marital residence.  The Wife argues that under the laws of the Dominican Republic and Spain, such an agreement is required to be registered in the marriage certificate by the officer performing the marriage.  As an alternative, the Wife argues the laws of the Dominican Republic and of Spain both require that a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable if the parties do not marry within one year after its execution. The issue, in this case, was what jurisdiction’s law would apply when interpreting the enforceability of the Agreement.


The Court looked at the totality of the circumstances under a “center of gravity” or “grouping of contacts” to make its determination.  Long Island’s Best Divorce Lawyer said the Court determined the Agreement was to be governed by the laws of Spain.  The Agreement was “drafted, negotiated, and executed in Spain,” the parties lived in Spain at the time of signing the Agreement, and with the exception of the apartment, the majority of the parties’ assets are outside New York.  Therefore, the Court found “that the material and relevant contacts between the Agreement and New York did not outweigh those with Spain.
The drafting of prenuptial agreements or any other documents prior to marriage requires great care and attention to detail.  The experienced attorneys at Simonetti & Associates are here to assist you.