Can You Establish Alimony in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Posted February 29th, 2024.

Categories: Blog.

man signing contract

The idea of a prenuptial agreement can leave a sour taste in the mouth. However, in its simplest form, it is a layer of protection that both parties can benefit from. Couples may wonder what they can include in a prenuptial agreement. Generally, the answer is anything. Alimony is commonly discussed when negotiating the terms of a divorce. Alimony is legally obligated financial support that one spouse owes to the other after a separation or divorce.

Because of the realities of marriage, one spouse may sacrifice their career to raise children, be a homemaker, or prioritize other needs. If a sacrifice like this is made, they will rely entirely on their spouse financially. If the marriage were to end, the spouse who did not work or made significantly less money would be severely affected by the divorce. Alimony is a way to ensure a fair and equitable separation.

If you have questions or need representation regarding a prenuptial agreement, alimony, or divorce, please contact family lawyer Mark S. Guralnick for assistance.

What is a Prenup?

A prenup, or prenuptial agreement, is a legally binding contract between a couple that they sign before entering into a marriage. The agreement lists the assets that each spouse possesses individually and how their belongings will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce.

Many people dislike prenups because it can feel like the couple is preparing for their marriage to fail before it even begins. However, a prenuptial agreement is simply a protection plan designed to benefit both parties. The point is to distinguish between each partner’s assets and determine what will be considered joint property or individual property.

There are many reasons to sign a prenup. If there is a large wealth gap between each spouse or if one person wants to ensure they are the sole owner of a particular property, it may be in their best interest to sign a prenuptial agreement.

Should I Include Alimony in My Prenuptial Agreement?

The answer to this question will depend on the individuals involved. A prenup will be designed to specifically address the unique needs of the couple. Notable items frequently listed on prenups include:

  • Cash and bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Child and/or pet custody
  • Various assets, e.g. cars, artwork, jewelry

Some of these items may apply to your situation and some of them may not. The beauty of a contract like this is that you can add or take away anything as long as both parties agree to the terms.

It can be beneficial to include alimony in a prenuptial agreement to avoid disagreements or time in court later down the line. You can use a prenup to waive your right to alimony if you would like, or to state the terms in which one of the parties may receive alimony. Your plan can be tailored to suit your needs and designate a percentage of the higher earner’s salary, a specific dollar amount, or anything, given that the couple is in agreement.

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