Bonem v. Garriott

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation552 N.Y.S.2d 16,159 A.D.2d 206
PartiesFranklin S. BONEM, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Julie GARRIOTT, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date01 March 1990

Page 16

552 N.Y.S.2d 16
159 A.D.2d 206
Franklin S. BONEM, Plaintiff-Respondent,
Julie GARRIOTT, Defendant-Appellant.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division,
First Department.
March 1, 1990.

Franklin S. Bonem, pro se.

Page 17

Julie Garriott, pro se.



Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Elliott Wilk, J.), entered June 22, 1988, which denied defendant's motion to vacate the financial provisions of the parties' May, 1986 separation agreement, is unanimously affirmed without costs.

The parties were married in 1983. Plaintiff-husband was a partner at a large law firm. While he earned a good living, he had substantial outstanding financial liabilities. Defendant-wife had given up her full-time editor's job in 1977 to work part-time in her apartment. Her earnings were small and she did not contribute significantly to the financial support of the marriage. The parties separated in 1986. There are no children of the marriage. After substantial negotiations a separation agreement was entered into. While plaintiff repeatedly advised defendant that she should seek the aid of an attorney, and, in fact, offered to pay for an attorney to review the separation agreement for her, defendant insisted that she did not need an attorney and chose to negotiate the agreement herself.

The separation agreement which was executed on May 28, 1986 provided, inter alia, that defendant would get everything in the apartment; plaintiff was to be responsible for all outstanding debts; plaintiff would provide defendant with full medical and hospital coverage for almost five years, $75,000 in life insurance and $1200-$1300 per month in maintenance for almost three years. The maintenance amounted to the sum of monthly rent due on the marital apartment. Defendant thus had the option to stay in the apartment and seek full-time work to cover her other expenses or find a less expensive apartment. Notably, in the agreement, both parties acknowledged that they understood all the provisions in the agreement, that the agreement was fair and that it was "not the result of any fraud, duress, coercion, pressure or undue influence ...". All of the other evidence supports that conclusion.

On June 5, 1987, plaintiff commenced an action for divorce based on living apart pursuant to the agreement. Defendant, for the first time, indicated that she wanted to renegotiate the separation agreement. Plaintiff...

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3 cases
  • Lavelle v. Lavelle
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 25, 1992
    ...... Moreover, by accepting the benefit of the agreement and not bringing suit for 31 months, plaintiff is deemed to have ratified it (see, Bonem v. Garriott, 159 A.D.2d 206, 207, 552 N.Y.S.2d 16; Groper v. Groper, supra, 132 A.D.2d at 495-496, 518 N.Y.S.2d 379). Finally, the separation ......
  • Hoskins v. Skojec
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • October 21, 1999
    ...55 N.Y.2d 957, 958, 449 N.Y.S.2d 180, 434 N.E.2d 249; Lavelle v. Lavelle, 187 A.D.2d 912, 913, 590 N.Y.S.2d 557; Bonem v. Garriott, 159 A.D.2d 206, 207, 552 N.Y.S.2d Page 305 We acknowledge that a court in an action for divorce or separation cannot order as spousal maintenance the allocatio......
  • 8th Street Parking Corp. v. Department of Consumer Affairs of City of New York
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • March 1, 1990

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