If you’re considering getting a prenuptial agreement ahead of your marriage, you probably have some uncertainty about what kinds of things to address, how airtight it is and more. One common question is whether it expires.
That’s up to you. Some couples include what’s known as a “sunset” clause or provision in their prenup. These clauses typically kick in after 10 or maybe 20 years, but you can designate some or all of the provisions to expire any time you’d like.
Why have a sunset clause? Reasons vary. Sometimes, when there’s a considerable wealth disparity, the partner with the most money wants to ensure that if the marriage doesn’t last, their spouse won’t walk away with anything they didn’t bring into it. Sometimes, couples figure that their provisions will no longer be relevant after a number of years.
Keeping your prenup current – with a postnup
Whether you include a sunset clause or not, you don’t have to live with the terms of the prenup if they no longer apply to your life – at whatever point that is. While you can’t technically revise your prenup once you’re married, you can get a postnuptial agreement that codifies similar matters.
It’s not a bad idea to revisit your postnup whenever your financial situation or life events warrant. For example, maybe one spouse decides they’re happy staying home and caring for the kids, but they want to make sure they get a fair settlement should the marriage end.
Don’t forget about your sunset clause
Whether or not you choose to have a sunset provision is up to you. However, if you do, it’s crucial not to forget about it. Unfortunately, that’s a mistake that some very wealthy, powerful people have made – and it’s cost them considerably.
While 10 or 20 years might seem like a lifetime away when you get married, those years can fly by. Further, many marriages don’t fall apart until after a couple has been together for many years. It’s also important to remember that you and your spouse can protect both of your interests at any point during your marriage by replacing your prenup with a solid postnuptial agreement.
While no one wants to anticipate divorce before they’ve even said “I do,” you never know what the future will bring. You hope your home won’t be destroyed in a fire or storm, but you have insurance in case it does. Similarly, a well-crafted prenup or postnup can protect you in a divorce.