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Understanding the Sunset Provision

Understanding the Sunset Provision

Some couples enter into prenuptial agreements because they are not certain as to the intentions of the other individual. For example, one individual may believe that their partner is marrying them for money. If this were true, it would likely become clear fairly early in the marriage. In addition, some couples write their prenuptial agreements believing that they will not have children. 
If however, they do have children, they would want to take that into consideration for issues such as alimony and distribution of assets. While a prenuptial form will not include issues relating to child custody or child support, they can contain estate planning and issues relating to the distribution of property to children. Because of these issues, some prenuptial forms contain a sunset provision. This provision allows the agreement to expire after a certain number or years, or at the birth of a child.
Some states have a sunset clause automatically attached to a prenuptial form. In other words, certain states only allow a prenuptial agreement to be valid for a certain number of years. When those number of years have passed, the agreement is no longer valid in any way. In addition, some states invalidate a prenuptial form once the couple has a child. While some states automatically attach this provision to a a prenuptial form, couples may also add it to their contract.
For those that wonder about the intentions of their partner, the sunset clause can be a way to protect themselves. For example, a wealthy man may wonder if his wife married him in hopes of gaining financial comfort during the marriage and in the event of a divorce.

How Do State Prenuptial Laws Vary?

How Do State Prenuptial Laws Vary?

Generally, state laws relating to a prenuptial agreement will be very similar. In fact, a couple that has a prenuptial agreement in any state, is likely to have it validated by the courts as long as it conforms to that state’s laws. When couples review their prenuptial forms, they must be careful to ensure that they have followed all state laws that pertain to them. 
In addition, couples want to exclude any clauses that may oppose state laws. While some laws are ambiguous to certain aspects of a prenuptial agreement, it is best to avoid any possible complications in having the agreement upheld by the courts.
One law that applies in all states, is the prohibition of including issues of child custodychild supportdivorceprenuptial formspost-nuptial agreement to account for any changes in law, no matter how slight.
Each state will have prenuptial forms that are specifically geared toward obeying the laws of that state. While most states have similar laws regarding a prenuptial agreement, it is recommended that couples use prenuptial forms geared toward their specific state laws.
 After marriage, a couple that moves should consider a post nuptial agreement in case their prenuptial forms do not comply with their new state’s laws.
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