Berman v. Becker
A 1989 prenup is valid and enforceable, pursuant to the Connecticut Supreme Court's 1980 decision, McHugh v. McHugh, if: 1.) the contract is validly entered into; 2.) its terms do not violate statute or public policy; and 3.) the parties' circumstances at dissolution are not so beyond the parties' contemplation at the time of signing as to work injustice. The defendant husband, who previously had been married and divorced, refused to marry the plaintiff wife, unless the wife signed a prenuptial agreement. In May 1989, the parties' attorneys' drafted and negotiated a contract, and the parties married. At the time, the husband earned $70,000 and the wife earned $30,000 gross per year. During the marriage, the parties shared household expenses and kept separate checking, savings and retirement accounts. Each month, the husband provided the wife with an invoice of household and travel expenses, and the wife paid the husband 33 percent, because her income was about one-third of the parties' combined income. Both parties saved money during the marriage. In 2000, the husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In October 2009, he was unable to continue working. In December 2010, the parties separated. Currently, the husband receives $2,969 per month in disability income from his long-term disability policy. In March 2015, his policy benefits will end, and he expects to receive Social Security income of $2,456 per month. The wife earned $64,000 gross per year at the Jewish Home for the Elderly, until she was discharged in 2010. Currently, she earns more working part time than she earned prior to discharge, and she also has a private practice as a social worker. Since 1989, the husband's assets increased more than the wife's, and the wife objected that the prenuptial agreement was not valid. Both parties testified that they knew about the other parties' finances. Both parties have means of support. The parties' finances at the time of dissolution were within the realm of contemplation at the time they signed the prenup. The court upheld the terms of the prenup, which was a valid contract, and it did not award alimony.