New York’s “Nastiest” Divorce Demonstrates the Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement

Although their case was only filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, in September 2018; sparks are already flying between spouses in a high profile, high asset divorce.

New York media is calling the proceedings between David and Libbie Mugrabi the “nastiest” divorce in recent memory. Resulting in accusations of adultery, domestic abuse, theft, and other misappropriation of assets.

Before they were married in 2004; the couple had no prenuptial agreement.  Their assets include a $72 million townhouse in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a $5 billion art collection, and a $3.75 million home on Long Island. The divorce court judge has already ordered David to pay $25,000 per month to Libbie as spousal support during divorce proceedings. However, that amount may change in the final divorce decree.

Divorce attorney Richard J. Bombardo, of the Bombardo Law Office, PC in Syracuse, NY weighed in on the benefits of a prenup.

“A prenuptial agreement may not seem like the most romantic topic to discuss before your wedding day. However, a prenup is highly effective at reducing the expenses, and time involved with divorce proceedings. It establishes expectations for the process and limits the disputes that can cost a fortune if litigated in divorce court.”

Mr. Bombardo added that “So many people think you have to be rich to execute a prenuptial agreement. There are countless reasons to consult with a lawyer; before you get married. Couples going into second marriages, marriages involving children from another relationship, and spouses-to-be with considerable debt should learn more about prenups. There may even be tax benefits depending on the couple’s specific circumstances.”

There are certain requirements for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable in the State of New York.

The document must be in writing, before a notary public, and signed by both future spouses. Who will verify both identities. A prenup is executed prior to the wedding, and takes effect upon marriage. In the event of the divorce; the agreement can state the parties’ intentions regarding spousal support and property division.

However, a prenup can not be used to address all issues; involving minor children. For instance, even when the parents agree on support, custody, and visitation the arrangement must still conform to New York State law; regarding the child’s best interests. A judge will review the agreement alongside the factors listed in the statute. A judge will approve the agreement and enter an order; as a result of the courts satisfaction that the arrangement complies with the child’s best interests.

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