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A Practical Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

marriage and divorce attorneyMen and women marry, generally speaking, because they are in love. At the time of marriage couples rarely think about getting divorced. Divorce isn’t romantic. Marriage certificates are not supposed to have expiration dates built into them. However today, divorce is much more common than it was in the past. Do you need a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. These agreements are prepared prior to marriage. One party hires an attorney to draft the prenuptial agreement and the other party needs an attorney to review it to see that it is fair. Prenuptial agreements provide structure for issues concerning division of assets, spousal maintenance (alimony), divorce, death of one of the parties, separation of the parties and the disability of one of the parties. The law to New York requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and executed by each of the parties. The agreement also must be acknowledged in the same manner as a deed (this requires the notarization of the parties statements).

Second Marriages

Individuals entering into a second marriage are more likely to request that a prenuptial agreement be entered into than those being married for the first time. This is especially true when there are children from the prior relationship. The prenuptial agreement allows each of the parties to protect assets acquired prior to the date of the marriage.

Prenuptial Agreements are not Romantic

The discussions of entering into a prenuptial agreement can cause strife among the prospective nuptials. Many individuals going into a marriage are of the belief that if they ask their prospective spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement, it will convey a lack of love and belief that the marriage will not be long lasting.

Conclusion

Couples who enter into a marriage where either party has significant assets or children from their prior marriage, they should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. Although prenuptial agreements are not romantic, this should not stop the parties from making logical and intelligent decisions concerning their economic rights. Although, when people get married, they don’t think about divorce. A divorce rate of almost 50% is a fact of life.prenuptial and post nuptial attorneys

When Do You Get the Engagement Ring Back?

ringIn a case this past summer, Justice Dickerson, a Supreme Court Judge sitting in Rockland County, New York, ordered a Hassidic woman to return a hundred-thousand dollar engagement ring to her betrothed. The man claimed he didn’t know when he gave her the ring at a religious wedding ceremony that she was still married to someone else. The woman appealed this decision. The Appellate Division of the Second Department held that this was a question of fact as to whether he knew she was married or not and it should have been decided after a trial, not on a motion for summary judgment. New York Civil Rights law section 80-b deals with the return of engagement rings. Larry Lipschultz gave his fiancee, Nadia Kinderman, a six carrot diamond ring in the summer of 2006. Thereafter, the Hassidic couple were married in an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony. Thereafter Mr. Lipschultz learned that his wife never obtained a civil divorce from her first husband. To say he was unhappy about this would be an understatement. They separated on September 13, 2007, less then a year after they were married. Mr. Libschultz thereafter filed an action demanding either $150,000 in cash or the return of the ring. He claimed that, under New York Civil Rights Law section 80-b, he was entitled to the recovery of the ring given as an engagement present on the basis of being in consideration for marriage.  His wife claimed he knew all along she was still married and therefore she should be entitled to keep the ring. The issue presented was whether he knew that she was not legally divorced. If he had knowledge of this, then the court could be justified in allowing his wife to keep the ring. The moral to this story is don’t buy a six carrot, $100,000 to $150,000 engagement ring. Two carrots would have been more than enough!

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Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

We negotiate pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements for our client. In cases where our clients are professionals, have assets or have been previously married, we aggressively litigate all issues dealing with our clients’ high net worth statuses. We also deal with obtaining child custody for our clients. When our clients solely seek visitation, we see to it that they have liberal visitation. Child support and spousal maintenance issues (alimony) are significant issues that must be dealt with in all divorces. We see to that our clients’ rights are protected concerning these issues. Should allegations of domestic violence arise, we very aggressively litigate these issues and protect our clients’ rights and privileges. We also deal with issues concerning paternity, relocation problems, parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome issues. We also try to avoid litigation and negotiate separation agreements for our clients. Sometimes grandparents are cut off in divorces. In these cases, we litigate grandparents’ rights issues for our clients. Call us for a free consultation.

Long Island Lawyer’s Adoption Scam

adoptionKevin Cohen, Esq., was an attorney on Long Island. He was recently found guilty of stealing in excess of $300,000 from families he represented. He had promised these families to help them adopt children. Unfortunately, the children did not exist.

Mr. Cohen was found guilty of 37 counts, including 16 counts of second-degree grand larceny, 11 counts of third-degree grand larceny and 10 counts of third-degree forgery. Mr. Cohen now faces up to ninety-two years in prison for his crimes. He will be sentenced on December 7, 2010. As a result of his criminal convictions, he will receive a mandatory disbarment.

Mental Illness

Mr.Cohen’s defense was “mental illness”. He represented himself at the time of trial. He claimed he could not be criminally responsible for his actions due to the fact he suffered from a mental illness. Unfortunately for Mr. Cohen, the prosecution was successful. They were able to show that he was a bright, intelligent lawyer who knew exactly what he was doing.

Judge John Kase, sitting in the county court of Nassau County, ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support an insanity defense for Mr. Cohen.

From October 2007 to the time of his arrest in September 2009, Mr. Cohen was in charge of an adoption agency called Adoption Annex. He represented to the public that he was an adoption expert. He charged his clients large sums of money for his legal services. He had also fabricated forged records and had shown his clients fake sonograms and fake medical records to convince them he had a child who could be adopted.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Cohen’s bail was set at $500,000 and he was never able to make bail. Mr. Cohen deserves a long jail sentence !!.

About our Firm

Our law office has extensive experience in handling all aspects of matrimonial and family law. We represent individuals in divorce proceedings, custody proceedings, annulments, as well as pre and post-nuptial agreements. We are especially adapted in handling high-net-worth divorces.

Should you, a friend or family member have issues related to a divorce or family law proceeding, call us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802, or contact us by email. We can help you!

May/December Romance Needs a Pre-Nuptial

bruce-willis-emma-hearningAging movie stars often have relationships with young beautiful women. There are many examples of these “May/December” relationships. Michael Douglas, age 65, is married to the beautiful Catherine Zetta Jones, age 40. Lorenzo Lamas, age 52 is engaged to be married to Shawna Craig, age 23. Bruce Willis, who was formerly married to Demi Moore, is 54. He recently married, Emma Hearning, a 30 year old model. He trumps his ex-wife, Demi, who is 47 years old and married to the 32 year old, Austin Kutcher.

How do these aging movie stars avoid losing their shirt when these Hollywood marriages fail. One way, that anyone with assets can avoid losing a substantial portion of their assets in a divorce is to have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Pre-Nuptial Agreements basically set up a plan for the division of assets and for spousal support (alimony) should the marriage fail. The agreements are straight forward and deal with all financial marital issues.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are now commonly used by individuals who are married more than once during their lifetime. They deal with problems presented at the time of divorce, they also deal with inheritance rights in the event one of the parties to the marriage (usually the older man) dies first.

I have written many Pre-Nuptial Agreements in my legal practice that deal with May/December marriages. I often wonder about the basis of these relationships. Is it the financial security the deep pocketed man provides or is it true love? I am sure love is a factor but I very rarely come across a May/December marriage where the man is both older and poor!

Should you have a question about a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement, feel free to give the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo a call at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot Schlissel, Esq.

Picture of Bruce Willis & Emma Hearning courtesy of iVenus.com.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren’s Post-Marriage Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

tiger_woods__elin_nordegrenReports have been circulating the past few days that Tiger Woods has been in negotiation with his wife Elin to “update” the pre-nuptial agreement to induce her to stay in the marriage after news of several of his extra-marital affairs became public.

Originally, the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement, signed in October of 2004, stipulated that Ms. Nordegren would receive a $20m payment from Mr. Woods after 10 years of marriage, which would have been in the year 2014. But with the recent revelations, news sources have reported that he has offered her an immediate payment of $5m and an additional $55m if she stays with him until October of 2011. The new agreement would reportedly also given her even another $20m if she stayed longer (totaling $80m). It would have also required her to attend public events with him and allow him to show the world (and his corporate sponsors, who are sticking with him so far) that he and Ms. Nordegren had reconciled completely.

These reports make it (mildly) surprising that she left for Sweden this week, thus potentially forfeiting any payment under either the old pre-nuptial agreement or any new agreement. It would definitely be understandable if she simply felt that no amount of money is worth staying in a miserable marriage. Alternatively, her stay overseas may be temporary and the couple will be getting back together. Not much is known publicly at this point.

It is noteworthy that although most news sources are reporting that the couple were in negotiations to sign a new “pre-nuptial agreement,” that term is not the correct one. If a couple who is already married signs the equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement, it is called a “post-nuptial agreement” because the nuptials have already taken place.

You can always contact the office by phone at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail for questions about pre or post-nuptial agreements, divorce, or any other kind of legal matter.

Picture courtesy of thisisdiversity.com.

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