Many couples in Texas understand the need for a prenuptial agreement, along with the importance of competent legal advice when such an agreement is drafted. However, how many people remember to review their prenuptial agreement every few years? Revisiting one’s prenuptial agreement will remind one of the contents and any stipulations that have to be followed. While prenuptial agreements don’t commonly expire, there may be a sunset clause that may render it invalid after a particular date.
Sunset provisions are sometimes included in a prenuptial agreement where one spouse comes into a marriage with significantly higher assets than the other spouse. A sunset clause is sometimes added to allow one spouse a predetermined value of assets if the couple remains married for a specific number of years, or it can determine the expiry of the prenuptial agreement upon a given date. In some cases, such a provision is used to phase out the agreement with additional plans to take effect at specific times, such as after five years of marriage, and again after 10 and 20 years of marriage.
It was recently reported that the comedian Chris Rock is going through a divorce from his wife to whom he was married for 18 years. It was stated that his prenuptial agreement had expired, and it was suggested that it may have contained a sunset clause. When re-evaluating a prenuptial agreement, it may be wise to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney to ensure the continued validity of the document.
A prenuptial agreement that is drafted without the input of an attorney who is experienced in all aspects of divorce and property division may include some legal oversights. There are specific legal requirements to ensure the validity of such a document in Texas. If it is determined that changes or additions are necessary, those aspects could be addressed in a postnuptial agreement that will be attached to the original prenuptial agreement. An attorney will also assist couples with drafting a prenuptial agreement and, depending on their unique circumstances, advise them on whether a sunset clause is a good option for them.
Source: investmentnews.com, “Chris Rock’s divorce offers lessons in divorce planning“, Darla Mercado, Dec. 30, 2014