Prenups are all about pre-planning for a “worst-case” scenario, but a prenuptial agreement that you and your spouse signed 20 or 30 years ago may eventually seem profoundly outdated or even unfair.
Indiana law generally recognizes the validity of prenuptial agreements – but they can be invalidated if they’re unconscionable or something that wasn’t “reasonably foreseeable” would now cause severe hardship to one or both parties.
A sunset clause could help. Sunset clauses basically cause a prenup to expire as soon as the conditions in the agreement are met.
How can sunset clauses work?
Sunset clauses can take several different forms:
- Time-limited agreements: This is probably the most common and straightforward type of sunset clause, where the prenuptial agreement simply terminates after a certain number of wedding anniversaries. For example, you could have an agreement that automatically ends once you’ve been through 10 years of marriage together.
- Milestone agreements: These cause a prenup to expire when one or more events come to pass. For example, a prenup might only be in effect until a couple has their first child together.
- Action agreements: These clauses cause a prenup to end based on some action by one or both parties. For example, the prenup can be written with a clause that voids the agreement if either spouse engages in domestic violence or an affair.
Sunset clauses can also set the stage for renegotiations between a couple. For example, a prenup could be written so that its terms have to be renegotiated every five or 10 years.
If you’re thinking about a prenuptial agreement, it’s only wise to get experienced legal guidance. That way, you can fully explore all your options.