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Including a 'sunset' clause in a prenuptial agreement

Summer is a popular time for weddings, and many soon-to-be-wed couples in Florida are looking forward to the big day after months or even years of planning. However, there is one, not so romantic, item that should be checked off their list before walking down the aisle: executing a prenuptial agreement.

Ultimately, prenups are legal contracts that determine how a couple will treat their assets and liabilities should the marriage not last. As such, it is important to have an attorney on your side when executing a prenup. That is because, as a legally binding contract, it is important that each party has a thorough understanding of its contents and that the ultimate document is fair to both.

Of course, life is ever-changing. Sometimes the initial agreement no longer meets the parties' needs after a number of years goes by. For this reason, a couple can include a "sunset" clause in their prenup. This clause makes it so that after a certain amount of time has gone by, the couple can choose to either terminate the prenup or execute a new one. After all, a new job, the birth of a child or a serious illness could dramatically alter a person's life, so that their pre-wedding financial needs are no longer pertinent, and instead they should consider updating their prenup to reflect their current needs.

If a couple decides to terminate their prenup and execute a new agreement while married, this will be known as a postnuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements, along with determining property division issues in the event of divorce, can also address support issues, as well as including provisions for any children born into the marriage.

Prenups may not seem romantic, but they are very practical. Moreover, they contribute to future honest and open communication, by discussing the big issues at the get-go. However, these are complex documents, so before signing on the dotted line, it may be beneficial to have an attorney review the document to ensure it is fair and appropriate.

Source: Brides, "Prenups, Postnups, and Everything In Between," Jaimie Mackey, May 24, 2017

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