New York Domestic Relations Law § 250 provides:
“1. The statute of limitations for commencing an action or proceeding or for claiming a defense that arises from an agreement made pursuant to subdivision three of part B of section two hundred thirty-six of this article entered into (a) prior to a marriage or (b) during the marriage, but prior to the service of process in a matrimonial action or proceeding, shall be three years.
2. The statute of limitations shall be tolled until (a) process has been served in such matrimonial action or proceeding, or (b) the death of one of the parties.
3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a separation agreement or an agreement made during the pendency of a matrimonial action or in settlement thereof.”
Washiradusit v Athonvarangkul, 2020 NY Slip Op 03562, Decided on June 24, 2020, Appellate Division, Second Department:
“The parties were married in February 2001 and subsequently purchased certain real property in Woodside (hereinafter the property). Prior to the closing, the parties entered into a “Property Agreement” dated November 18, 2002 (hereinafter the postnuptial agreement). The postnuptial agreement required the parties to put the property up for sale “no later than 90 days after filing by either party for divorce or separation,” and provided that the parties would split 50/50 any proceeds remaining after satisfaction of the mortgage and other costs.
In November 2011, the plaintiff commenced this action for a divorce and ancillary relief. The defendant answered the complaint, seeking spousal maintenance and counsel fees. No claims were asserted in the pleadings regarding the postnuptial agreement. In October 2016, the defendant moved, inter alia, to enforce the postnuptial agreement. In opposition, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant’s claim to enforce the postnuptial agreement was time-barred pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 250. Alternatively, the plaintiff cross-moved, among other things, in effect, to set aside the postnuptial agreement as unconscionable. The Supreme Court granted that branch of the defendant’s motion which was to enforce the postnuptial agreement, and denied that branch of the plaintiff’s cross motion which was, in effect, to set aside the postnuptial agreement as unconscionable. The plaintiff appeals.
Contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, the six-year statute of limitations that pertains to breach of contract causes of action (see CPLR 213) is not applicable. Rather, the [*2]applicable statute of limitations is provided for in Domestic Relations Law § 250. Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 250, the statute of limitations for claims arising from prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is three years and that period is tolled, as relevant here, until process has been served in a matrimonial action. The language of the statute makes it broadly applicable to claims arising from prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, such that it applies equally where a party seeks to invalidate the agreement and where a party seeks to enforce it (see Domestic Relations Law § 250; Alan D. Scheinkman, Practice Commentaries, McKinney’s Cons Laws of NY, Domestic Relations Law C250).
Here, the defendant did not assert his claim to enforce the postnuptial agreement until more than 4½ years after he was served with process in the matrimonial action. Accordingly, the defendant’s claim is untimely, and should have been rejected.
Further, since the defendant is no longer entitled to enforce the postnuptial agreement, that branch of the plaintiff’s cross motion which was, in effect, to set aside the agreement as unconscionable should have been denied as academic.”