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Can a prenup waive alimony rights?

Divorce is a naturally complicated process. However, it can be much simpler if both parties willingly agree to sign a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage. In the past, it was mostly wealthy people who would utilize prenups. However, attorneys have seen a gradual increase in the prevalence of prenups since 2013. 

There are many things you can cover in a prenup, but there is a lot the law will forbid you from including. Although many states have laws against including anything about alimony in a prenup, Tennessee allows married couples to waive rights to alimony. There are several provisions that must be present for an alimony waiver to be enforceable. 

Both spouses must be aware of the other's net worth

A prenuptial agreement maintains the basis that both parties are fully aware of what they agree to within the document. Both spouses may at first feel fine with waiving any right to alimony because they both believe they make the same amount of money. However, one spouse may fail to disclose certain assets, such as stock and bond options that drastically increase his or her net worth. During the divorce process, the other spouse learns of this extra wealth and demands alimony. The court will most likely throw out the alimony provision because the less wealthy spouse did not fully understand the situation when signing the document.

Be aware of the different types of alimony in Tennessee

Alimony is not an all-or-nothing scenario. A prenup can outline how a wealthier spouse will pay a specified amount in alimony over a given amount of time. Tennessee law also establishes different types of alimony:

  • Transitional alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Alimony in futuro
  • Alimony in solido

Different types may be preferable depending on the couple's situation. For instance, one spouse may agree to be a stay-at-home parent, but after the marriage dissolves, he or she will require vocational training to acquire a career. Offering rehabilitative alimony in this instance will help ensure the other spouse receives support and protection. 

 

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The Law Office of Robert M. Asbury
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