Can a prenup expire?
A prenup agreement is a contract that spouses enter into before they marry. Many people wonder how long does a prenup last? This blog will answer that question. Prenups serves several functions. A prenup:
- Identifies what property is considered separate property – such as property a spouse owned before the marriage.
- Identifies how the marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce. The division addresses what property will be divided and in what proportions. A prenup can determine how the property is divided – such as determining whether the property is sold and the terms of the sale.
- Can determine how property will be valued in the event of a divorce
- Sets forth the terms of any alimony payments or the waiver of any alimony payments if a divorce occurs.
Prenups cannot predetermine which parents will have physical or legal custody of their children. Furthermore, prenups cannot determine the amount of child support. Courts do everything they can to place the needs of the children before the needs of the parents.
Prenups are normally considered:
- If either spouse has significant assets
- If one of the spouses has a business
- If either spouse was married before
How long does a prenup last?
Generally, prenuptial agreements in New Jersey are regulated by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). The UPAA requires that:
- Prenups must be in writing
- Both spouses must sign the prenup
- The prenup must include a statement of assets that sets for the financial information of both spouses
Prenups are generally invalid if they are entered into by force or coercion. Minors are not permitted to sign a binding prenup agreement.
The UPAA does not address the issue of – how long does a prenup last? In addition, the UPAA does not answer:
- Is a prenup valid after 10 years
- How long is a prenuptial agreement valid
Generally, there is no expiration date on a prenup agreement. If you sign a prenup you should have an experienced New Jersey family lawyer review the agreement because you won’t be able to contest the prenup if the marriage doesn’t work out as you planned. Asking how long is a prenuptial agreement valid for isn’t a valid legal argument when a divorce occurs – unless the prenup has a sunset clause.
Sunset clauses in prenup agreements
There is one way you can get a satisfactory answer to the question – how long is a prenuptial agreement valid for? You can provide that the prenuptial agreement includes a sunset clause. A sunset clause provides that if the marriage lasts for a specific amount of time, then neither spouse can assert the prenuptial agreement in the event of a divorce.
The idea behind a sunset clause is that spouses who enter into prenups are hedging their bets. They’re not sure if the marriage will last, so they enter into a prenup to prevent divorce contests. The bet the spouses make with a sunset clause is that if the marriage lasts more than 10 years, 15 years, or another time frame – that the marriage will last.
If, for example, the sunset clause provision is 10 years, then if the marriage lasts more than 10 years – a spouse can rightfully ask – how long does a prenup last – and get the answer that the prenup is invalid because the marriage is longer than 10 years.
If you want a sunset clause in your prenup, you need to speak with a skilled New Jersey family lawyer.
At DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law, our family lawyers advise spouses going through a divorce – and people who wish to enter into a marriage and are considering a prenup. We’ll answer your question – how long does a prenup last? Generally, the answer is that there is no expiration date. You’ll need to show the prenup is invalid for reasons other than the length of the marriage. You’ll need an experienced family lawyer who aggressively fights to protect your marital property interests and fights for alimony, child custody, and child support. Our attorneys have answered the question how long does a prenup last for hundreds of clients and we’d love to examine your individual situation to provide legal advice.
To speak with an experienced family lawyer who understands how long is a prenuptial agreement valid for and all other divorce issues, call us at 908-691-2104 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Clinton and Morristown.