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New York Postnuptial Agreement Law

Marriage – Postnuptial Agreements – New York

Consolidated Laws, Chapter 14, Article 4, § 50 Dom. Rel. Property of married woman.

Property, real or personal, now owned by a married woman, or hereafter owned by a woman at the time of her marriage, or acquired by her as prescribed in this chapter, and the rents, issues, proceeds and profits thereof, shall continue to be her sole and separate property as if she were unmarried, and shall not be subject to her husband’s control or disposal nor liable for his debts.

Chapter 14, Article 13, § 236 (Part B, Paragraph 3) Dom. Rel. Special controlling provisions; prior actions or proceedings; new actions or proceedings.

3. Agreement of the parties. An agreement by the parties, made before or during the marriage, shall be valid and enforceable in a matrimonial action if such agreement is in writing, subscribed by the parties, and acknowledged or proven in the manner required to entitle a deed to be recorded. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an acknowledgment of an agreement made before marriage may be executed before any person authorized to solemnize a marriage pursuant to subdivisions one, two and three of section eleven of this chapter. Such an agreement may include (1) a contract to make a testamentary provision of any kind, or a waiver of any right to elect against the provisions of a will; (2) provision for the ownership, division or distribution of separate and marital property; (3) provision for the amount and duration of maintenance or other terms and conditions of the marriage relationship, subject to the provisions of section 5-311 of the general obligations law, and provided that such terms were fair and reasonable at the time of the making of the agreement and are not unconscionable at the time of entry of final judgment; and (4) provision for the custody, care, education and maintenance of any child of the parties, subject to the provisions of section two hundred forty of this article. Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to affect the validity of any agreement made prior to the effective date of this subdivision.

Chapter 24A, Article 3, Title 3, § 3-301 Gen. Oblig. Powers of married woman.

1. A married woman has all the rights in respect to property, real or personal, and the acquisition, use, enjoyment and disposition thereof, and to make contracts in respect thereto with any person, including her husband, and to carry on any business, trade or occupation, and to exercise all powers and enjoy all rights in respect thereto and in respect to her contracts, and be liable on such contracts, as if she were unmarried.

2. All sums that may be recovered in actions or special proceedings by a married woman to recover damages to her person, estate or character shall be the separate property of the wife.

3. Judgment for or against a married woman, may be rendered and enforced, in a court of record, or not of record, as if she was single. A married woman may confess a judgment.

Chapter 24A, Article 5, Title 3, § 5-311 Gen. Oblig. Certain agreements between husband and wife void.

Except as provided in section two hundred thirty-six of the domestic relations law, a husband and wife cannot contract to alter or dissolve the marriage or to relieve either of his or her liability to support the other in such a manner that he or she will become incapable of self-support and therefore is likely to become a public charge. An agreement, heretofore or hereafter made between a husband and wife, shall not be considered a contract to alter or dissolve the marriage unless it contains an express provision requiring the dissolution of the marriage or provides for the procurement of grounds of divorce.

Disclaimer: This law summary is not legal advice. If you are not an attorney, you should consult an attorney about serious legal matters.

Inside New York Postnuptial Agreement Law