March 22, 2013
Millionaire's Wife Gets Judge To Throw Out Her Prenuptial Agreement
The wife of real-estate mogul and millionaire Peter Petrakis signed a prenuptial agreement that would have ensured that all of Peter's real estate holdings would remain with him if the couple ever divorced. His wife, Elizabeth, signed the prenuptial agreement four days before her wedding to Peter. Since that day for the next seven years, she claimed that she was coerced into signing the prenuptial agreement. She argues that this is the case because her then fiance claimed that he would call off the wedding if she choose to not sign the prenup, "even though her father had already paid $40,000 for the reception." She also claimed that he told her that he would destroy the prenup after the couple had children. According to Elizabeth, "But he never did."
In Cioffi-Petrakis v. Petrakis, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, held that Peter had "fraudulently induced" his wife into signing the prenup. Some claim that this ruling is unprecedented because the court invalidated the prenup on the basis of a verbal promise made by one of the parties. This is especially unprecedented because the contract contained a clause that stipulated that there was no verbal promises. In the aftermath of the decision, Peter wants to end the divorce fight with Elizabeth. She, on the other hand, has found a renewed purpose. She is starting a business called Divorce Prep Experts. She hopes to help other people that are in the middle of a divorce and have a prenup.
See Kieran Crowley, Wife of Millionaire LI Real-Estate Mogul Gets Judge To Rip Up Her Prenup, The New York Post, Mar. 11, 2013.
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