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Court upholds spousal support waiver upon appeal

Prenuptial agreements are designed to predetermine various aspects of a divorce in order to avoid or at least minimize litigation. These types of agreements, which are common among spouses in Alabama and other states, will decide issues of property division and spousal support. A strong prenuptial agreement will stand up against any legal challenge to the validity of its terms in court.

One couple's prenuptial agreement was put to the test recently in court when the wife attempted to challenge the validity of the agreement. Apparently, the couple had mutually waived their rights to spousal support when they signed their prenuptial agreement in 1999. The wife filed for divorce in 2009 and was able to convince the judge in the trial court to award her $3,500 per month in spousal support for the period of 49 months, despite the prenuptial agreement.

The trial court judge ruled that forcing the wife to return to her previous living standards would be too much of a hardship. However, the husband appealed the trial court's decision. He argued that the trial court failed to consider that circumstances had not changed enough while the couple was married to allow the wife to bypass the waiver of spousal support she agreed to upon signing the prenuptial agreement.

Luckily, for the husband, the prenuptial agreement and the spousal support waiver were eventually upheld in court. However, there may be times when this is not the case, which highlights the importance of periodically updating prenuptial agreements in Alabama or in any other case. Also, this case shows that litigation skills and knowledge of the legal process may be necessary in order to protect one's rights during a divorce.

Source: dlnnews.com, "9th District overturns spousal support award", Tracey Blair, Sept. 22, 2014

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