Prenuptial agreements raise issues that many soon-to-be spouses don’t want to face: finances, fidelity and, of course, the possibility of divorce.
Elizabeth Petrakis signed her prenup just four days before her 1998 wedding to Long Island real-estate mogul and millionaire Peter Petrakis. According to Elizabeth, her then-fiance promised to tear up their agreement once they had children.
But after twin sons and a daughter, the prenup stayed intact.
Elizabeth has spent seven years arguing to have the prenup torn up. Last month, 15 years after she tied the knot, a Brooklyn appellate court upheld the decision to void the contract.
“It’s a game changer,” Elizabeth’s lawyer, Dennis T. D’Antonio, said of the Brooklyn Appellate panel’s ruling. “I’m unaware of a vacated prenup in the state of New York on these or similar grounds.”
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Elizabeth, on the grounds of “fraud in the inducement” — recognizing that Peter misled Elizabeth in the contract, finding his “credibility to be suspect.”
“You can enter into prenups, but you shouldn’t when you’re marginalizing your spouse or being too greedy,” said D’Antonio.
That, he argues, is the difference in the case of Cioffi-Petrakis v Petrakis. “The argument was helped by inequality of the prenuptial agreement.”