Elizabeth Petrakis signed a prenuptial agreement before she married her ex-husband Peter back in 1998.
Peter runs a successful commercial real-estate business and is worth $20 million. The prenup said all of the assets would remain in his name in the event of a divorce.
Not so, according to the latest decision by a Brooklyn Appellate Court. They upheld two other court decisions that has previously thrown out the premarital agreement. The New York Post writes, those decisions said:
‘Peter “fraudulently induced” Elizabeth to sign the prenup and found Peter’s “credibility to be suspect.”‘
Elizabeth also argued her ex-husband used to tell her he would, “rip it up as soon as we had kids.” But, she added, “he never did.” This is rare, but could be, as a couple of defense lawyers told the Post, “precedent setting.”
Dennis D’Antonio, who represented Ms. Petrakis, said the ruling, “is unprecedented, vacating a pre-nup on the basis of a verbal promise.”
Could this be the end to all prenuptial agreements? Divorce lawyer Raoul Felder thinks it might be. The Post said he’s never seen a prenup overturned in his 30 years of practicing law.
Neither my wife nor I signed one before we got married. I’d like to think if something does happen we could work it out peacefully. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Money and power can bring out the worst in people, even couples who used to love each other.
Elizabeth has been fighting this battle in court for seven years. They have three children together. Sadly, they couldn’t work this out on their own, prenup or not.
Maybe the matter is settled for now. Elizabeth won but the effects on her family will be long-lasting.
I say that from experience. My parents were divorced when I was seven. They seemed to work it out as amicably as possible under the circumstances. But, 28 years later, it is still strange to see my parents together in the same social setting.