Premarital Agreement in Minnesota: Does It Cover Alimony?

By December 3, 2013Alimony, Prenuptial

A premarital agreement in Minnesota can cover alimony provided you and your spouse are able to agree on how spousal support will be determined in the event of a divorce. A premarital agreement is a legal contract that a man and a wife enter into prior to getting married. The purpose of the agreement is to provide financial protection for the spouses, to avoid disagreement in the event of a divorce, and to make sure the divorce process goes as smoothly as possible if the marriage needs to end.

Couples have wide leeway in what they can put into a premarital agreement, provided they do not take actions that are considered against public policy and provided that they follow Minnesota laws for the creation of a premarital agreement.  This means that if you wish to include provisions related to alimony, those provisions can and should be enforced except under certain limited circumstances. To ensure that your premarital agreement protects your rights when it comes to alimony or spousal support, contact a qualified and experienced divorce and family law attorney prior to drafting or signing your prenuptial agreement.

Premarital Agreements and Alimony

A premarital agreement must be in writing, both parties signing the agreement must be represented by legal council, and both parties must provide full and fair disclosure about their assets and financial situation before a premarital agreement is signed.  Both parties must also be of sound mind at the time when the agreement is drafted and signed, and the agreement will be considered void if either party enters into it under conditions of fraud or duress.

When drafting an agreement, the couple can include a provision on alimony.  The contact can specify a specific amount of alimony that one spouse will receive. Often, the agreement will dictate that a different amount of alimony is appropriate depending upon the length of the marriage, with a spouse receiving more the longer the couple is married. The agreement can also involve one spouse waiving the right to receive alimony from the other. The court will enforce this provided that the waiver was a knowing one and the spouse who gave up alimony did so willingly and with a full understanding of his or her rights.

A premarital agreement cannot, however, involve either spouse waiving the right to child support. Child support is considered to belong to the child and a parent cannot waive it. Further, it is good public policy to ensure that a child is supported by both parents, so a court will not take this source of support away.

For a couple entering into a premarital agreement in Minnesota, it is important to think carefully about how the issue of alimony should be handled. Your divorce and family law attorney can provide you with invaluable advice so you can make a fully informed choice on the issue of alimony in your premarital agreement.