O.A. v. J.A.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that a spouse seeking pendente lite alimony, attorney’s fees, and expert fees during the pendency of a dissolution action must demonstrate that a postnuptial agreement that purportedly precludes such payments is invalid or otherwise unenforceable before the trial court may properly order the other spouse to make such payments.
After their marriage, Plaintiff and Defendant executed a postnuptial agreement setting forth terms for the distribution of property and determining support awards in the event their marriage dissolved. Plaintiff later brought this action seeking dissolution of the marriage and temporary and permanent alimony. The trial court ordered Defendant to pay Plaintiff temporary alimony, current attorney's fees and a retainer for legal counsel, and a contribution toward specified future expert fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court correctly determined that it need not determine the enforceability of the parties' postnuptial agreement before awarding Plaintiff alimony and litigation expenses.