Cohen v. Cohen

Citation93 A.D.3d 506,940 N.Y.S.2d 250,2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 01870
PartiesStanley COHEN, Plaintiff–Respondent, v. Pauline COHEN, Defendant–Appellant.
Decision Date15 March 2012
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 01870
93 A.D.3d 506
940 N.Y.S.2d 250

Stanley COHEN, Plaintiff–Respondent,
v.
Pauline COHEN, Defendant–Appellant.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

March 15, 2012.


[940 N.Y.S.2d 251]

David Scott, New York (Paul Biedka of counsel), for appellant.

Leitner & Getz LLP, New York (Gregory J. Getz of counsel), for respondent.

MAZZARELLI, J.P., FRIEDMAN, RICHTER, ABDUS–SALAAM, JJ.

[93 A.D.3d 506] Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Saralee Evans, J.), entered September 20, 2010, which, in this action for divorce, denied defendant's motion to vacate and declare void and/or set aside a prenuptial agreement or to set the matter down for a hearing on the circumstances surrounding its execution, and denied her motion for an injunction with respect to certain assets, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The motion to vacate or set aside the parties' prenuptial agreement was properly denied without a hearing, as defendant failed to meet her burden of presenting evidence of fraud, duress or overreaching with respect to the agreement, which was executed in France and written in defendant's native tongue ( see Stawski v. Stawski, 43 A.D.3d 776, 777, 843 N.Y.S.2d 544 [2007]; Forsberg v. Forsberg, 219 A.D.2d 615, 616, 631 N.Y.S.2d 709 [1995] ). Defendant's contradictory affidavit and her doctor's letter do not support her suggestion that, because of her pregnancy, she lacked the mental capacity to understand or execute the agreement. Further, plaintiff's alleged threat to cancel the wedding if defendant refused to sign the agreement does not constitute duress ( Colello v. Colello, 9 A.D.3d 855, 858, 780 N.Y.S.2d 450 [2004], lv. denied 11 A.D.3d 1053, 783 N.Y.S.2d 896 [2004] ). Nor does the absence of legal representation establish overreaching or require an automatic nullification of the agreement ( see id.), especially as the evidence shows that the agreement was prepared by an independent public official unaligned with either party. Plaintiff's alleged failure to fully disclose his financial situation is also insufficient to vitiate the prenuptial agreement ( Strong v. Dubin, 48 A.D.3d 232, 233, 851 N.Y.S.2d 428 [2008] ). Indeed, there is no [93 A.D.3d 507] evidence that plaintiff concealed or misrepresented any financial information or the terms of the agreement ( id.).

To the extent the prenuptial agreement, to be enforceable in New York, must contain an acknowledgment sufficient to entitle a real property deed to...

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25 cases
  • Gottlieb v. Gottlieb
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • January 28, 2016
    ...agreement"] ). Notably, there is no claim by the wife that the husband concealed or misrepresented his income (see id. ; Cohen v. Cohen, 93 A.D.3d 506, 940 N.Y.S.2d 250 [1st Dept.2012] ). Further, as the motion court noted, the wife lived with the husband and was aware of the luxurious life......
  • Pia M. v. Mitchell M.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • March 3, 2021
    ...A.D.3d at 582, 999 N.Y.S.2d 386 (citing Matter of Greiff , 92 N.Y.2d at 344, 680 N.Y.S.2d 894, 703 N.E.2d 752 ; Cohen v. Cohen , 93 A.D.3d 506, 940 NYS2d 250 [1st Dept. 2012] ). Although it is possible to shift this burden to demonstrate fraud or overreaching, such burden shifting is usuall......
  • Braha v. Braha
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • October 14, 2014
    ...A.D.3d at 996, 988 N.Y.S.2d 648, citing Strong v. Dubin, 48 A.D.3d 232, 233, 851 N.Y.S.2d 428 [1st Dept 2008] ; accord Cohen v. Cohen, 93 A.D.3d 506, 506–507, 940 N.Y.S.2d 250 [1st Dept 2012] ).In upholding the parties' Prenuptial Agreement, it must also be noted that it has been held that ......
  • Cohen v. Cohen
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • September 11, 2014
    ...continued to provide defendant with financial support. Plaintiff commenced this divorce action in March 2009. In a prior appeal (93 A.D.3d 506, 940 N.Y.S.2d 250 [1st Dept.2012] ), this Court affirmed the order of the trial court that held that the French prenuptial agreement was valid. Afte......
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