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Understanding the Sunset Provision

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 When those number of years have passed, the agreement is no longer valid in any way.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.

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