In affirming Supreme Court’s determination that a stipulation/postnuptial agreement, which was not signed in open court, was not invalidated by Domestic Relations Law 236, the Second Department explained:
…[T]he Supreme Court properly determined that the postnuptial agreement was valid and that Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(3) does not compel a different result. “An agreement by the parties, made before or during the marriage, shall be valid and enforceable in a matrimonial action if such agreement is in writing, subscribed by the parties, and acknowledged or proven in the manner required to entitle a deed to be recorded” (Domestic Relations Law § 236[B]). A written agreement between parties made before or during a marriage which does not meet the formalities of Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(3) is not enforceable … . However, Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(3) “applies only to agreements entered into outside the context of a pending judicial proceeding”… . Moreover, “[s]tipulations of settlement are favored by the courts and are not lightly cast aside” … . Thus, “[a]n agreement between parties or their attorneys relating to any matter in an action, other than one made between counsel in open court, is not binding upon a party unless it is in a writing subscribed by him or his attorney or reduced to the form of an order and entered” (CPLR 2104…).
Here, the record established that the parties relied on the duly executed stipulation of settlement, which was denominated as the postnuptial agreement, as a means of resolving the respondent’s prior divorce action. It is undisputed that the postnuptial agreement was executed while the respondent’s action was pending before the Supreme Court … . … Accordingly, the postnuptial agreement was valid, as it “was executed in the context of a pending divorce proceeding, and was subject to judicial oversight, even though it was not signed in open court” … . Rio v Rio, 1013 NY Slip Op 07023, 2nd Dept 10-30-13