The New York Times has what, for me, is a new feature in the Opinion section called "Room for Debate." The debate posted yesterday has to do with whether or not people should have a prenuptial agreement. The case that sparked the debate? Elizabeth Petrakis, a New York resident, recently announced that she’d had her prenuptial agreement voided after she claimed she was coerced into signing it four days before her wedding.
The Petrakis case sparked a lot of discussion among family lawyers, especially members of the American Bar Assn Family Law Section. In some states, prenups are upheld if properly executed with full disclosure. In other states, prenups can be voided if unfair or "inequitable." Other grounds to void a prenup are fraud, duress and non-disclosure.
The debate posted by the New York Times is well-worth a read--both for family lawyers and for people who are contemplating a prenup or who are contemplating a divorce with a prenup in place.
The panel: Chosen by the New York Times to debate the issue are the following:
Kathleen Miller Kathleen Miller, a financial planner: "Prenups for Some, Money Talk for All"
Thomas J. Handler, an attorney: "Do Your Research, and Be Stealthy"
Laurie Israel, a lawyer and mediator: "Bad for Marital Health"
Erik W. Newton, a family lawyer: "You Already Have a Prenup"
Celeste Michele Watkins-Hayes, a sociologist: "Let’s Broaden This Discussion," and
W. Bradford Wilcox, of the National Marriage Project: "If You Want a Prenup, You Don’t Want Marriage,"
You may read the Debate at the New York Times website here: DEBATE [Last accessed on 3/22/2013]
More information on enforceability of prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements in Michigan can be found on this Blog here.
COHABITATION: So you decide that instead of marrying, you'll cohabitate. Can you protect your assets in that situation without a cohabitation agreement? I say no! Read more about protection needed in cohabitation here on this blog.