Citation: Rae B. Ranieri, v. Rocco J. Ranieri 146 A.D.2d 34
Facts: A Universal Life Church (UCL) minister married husband and wife. Before the wedding, they executed an antenuptial agreement. The parties cohabited after the marriage for 84 days. The wife sought a judgment of divorce, a judgment declaring that the marriage between the parties was a nullity and void ab initio, but sought recovery under the antenuptial agreement. The husband sought a judgment declaring that the marriage, the antenuptial agreement, and the agreement to pay the wife were void. The court held that the marriage, ...view middle of the document...
Reasoning: Antenuptial agreements are invalid and unenforceable where the underlying marriage was void on the ground that it was solemnized by a minister of the Universal Life Church, Inc. who was not authorized to do so under Domestic Relations Law § 11, since there has been a failure of consideration. In the case at bar, the parties were married for only four months before the instant matrimonial action was commenced and lived together for less than three months, and, thus, they can clearly be restored to their prenuptial positions if the agreements in question are held to be unenforceable.
Disposition: The court ordered that the matter be remitted to the lower court for a determination of the rights of the parties in any separate or marital property, and of permanent maintenance and counsel fees to be awarded, if any. The court reversed because the marriage was void, and the antenuptial agreements were therefore unenforceable. On the merits, the wife was not entitled to temporary maintenance, insurance or expenses, or interim counsel fees.