Prenuptial Agreements: Can You Waive Spousal Support in a Prenup?

April 27, 2018 Posted in Divorce

A prenuptial agreement is one of the most important ways to protect yourself when you are entering into a marriage. When you create a prenuptial agreement, you can work with your soon-to-be spouse to determine what will happen if you must get a divorce. You can come to a compromise on important issues at a time when you are getting along well so you can avoid a contentious divorce later on in life when your marriage  is not working and you are much less likely to be able to work together to reach a consensus.

A Dallas divorce attorney can provide you with help creating a prenuptial agreement and can assist you in making certain you have included all of the necessary clauses so you can ensure that your prenuptial agreement is as comprehensive and detailed as possible.  An attorney can also advise you on specific provisions that you may wish to include in your prenuptial agreement, such as a waiver of spousal support.

Can You Include a Waiver of Spousal Support in a Prenuptial Agreement?

One of the key reasons you may wish to create a prenup is to make sure you protect your future income. If you earn a substantial amount of money, you may not want to be ordered to pay a large amount of support to a lower earning ex in the event of a divorce.

A clause in the prenuptial agreement in which each spouse waives the right to alimony or spousal support can provide protection and ensure that a higher earner doesn't end up supporting a lower earner in perpetuity after a marriage has ended.  Prenuptial agreements could also include limitations on the amount of alimony that would have to be paid, rather than a complete waiver of alimony.

Clauses waiving or limiting spousal support are generally allowed and enforceable in the state of Texas although a waiver of child support in a prenup is not allowed and will not hold up in court because child support is a right of the child and a parent cannot waive it on behalf of the child. Further, it is considered to be good public policy to ensure that both parents support children after a divorce.  The restrictions on enforcing clauses related to child support do not apply to spousal support waivers though.

In order for a waiver of spousal support-- as well as any other conditions of a prenuptial agreement – to be enforceable, it will be necessary for the parties signing the prenuptial agreement to comply with state rules for a valid premarital contract. The contract must be in writing, for example, and each of the parties to the contract needs to disclose their assets and their liabilities before a prenuptial agreement is signed.  The agreement will also not be enforced if either party signs it involuntarily as a result of fraud, duress, or coercion.

A Dallas divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance to couples in taking steps to ensure that they have a comprehensive, enforceable premarital agreement that covers the key issues including a waiver of spousal support if desired. Contact an attorney for help today to find out more.