How Does Having a Pre-nup Affect Alimony?

Interviewer: How often do you run into people with prenuptial agreements or who want pre-nuptial agreements?

Tanya: I prepare about 10 a year. It is not infrequently.

Interviewer: How much does it help to have one?

Tanya: It is enormously helpful. I think they are very good.

Interviewer: Does it make a future divorce a lot easier to navigate, minimizing the issues?

Tanya: Yes, absolutely. The problem with family law, as I mentioned before, is it is very discretionary. So hypothetically, you are married for 10 years and one person stopped working three years ago. There are changes in income and lifestyle. The fact pattern, if you put it in front of four or five different judges, you get different results.

Look at those criteria I gave you: the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the parties’ abilities to earn and maintain the standard of living, who has the children. One judge might look at it one way and focus on certain things. Another judge might look at it another way and focus on certain things. Neither one is wrong, as long as it falls within the scope of the statute.

With a prenuptial agreement, if it is done correctly you are taking the guess work out. You are telling the judge what you want the resolution to be, in advance.