Prenup Timeline Debunked

Jun 11, 2022 | Prenuptial Agreements

When to Sign and How Long is it Valid For?

As a soon-to-be-married or recently married couple, you’re sure to have many burning questions about prenups. The world of prenup agreements can get tricky easily, especially if you’re an average person not well-versed in legal terminology. Many couples wonder at what point they should create a prenup and sign it.

Should it be months before marriage or the day of? We’ve heard all these common questions. If you’re curious about the best timeline for a prenup and the terms of its validity, keep reading to find out!

When is the ideal time to create the prenup?

As soon as possible! After you and your partner have both decided on creating a prenup, it’s time to figure out when the best time to do it.  While there is no set timeline by that you must create a prenup, preparing it in advance will help you and your partner.

Some states have specific laws that indicate a prenup deadline. These are laws put in place to protect both partners and ensure a prenup is not sprung on anyone last minute. While some states may not have this law, it’s important to check the laws of the state you live in. For example, California law indicates parties must have at least 7 days to review the final contract before signing. Some states, like New Hampshire, require that a prenup is signed at least 30 days prior to the wedding. Yikes!

A prenup should not be signed on the day of your wedding! In some cases, this can cause your prenuptial agreement to be invalid. It’s important to respect that both parties are given adequate time to consider the terms of the agreement, before signing.

What is a prenup?

If you’ve reached this article, chances are you already have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of a prenuptial agreement. For those who don’t, a prenup is an agreement/contract that is signed by both parties before they marry. The purpose of a prenup is to decide what would happen to divide assets if the couple divorced in the future.

How long does a prenuptial agreement remain in effect?

Planning a prenup can often be for difficult for couples who have trouble thinking ahead. When you plan a prenup, you’re not even married yet! Over the years, a lot can change in your and your partner’s life. This is exactly why you need a prenup, to begin with, as it covers the things you simply cannot foresee.

A prenup is a contract that both spouses will sign before they get legally married. Most prenups do not have an expiration date, which means they will remain in effect indefinitely. A few special circumstances could allow you to challenge a prenup, however, if done properly, it will remain in effect for as long as you’re married.

Is there such a thing as signing a prenup too far in advance?

While you don’t want to wait too long to sign the prenup right before the wedding, you also don’t want to sign a prenup too far in advance. Things can change throughout a short period. Changes in life circumstances could change, like the balances on your financial schedule. Another reason not to sign it too far in advance is that one partner could forget about it or forget what they’ve agreed to in the agreement.

So, when is the ideal time to create and sign a prenuptial agreement?

The process of starting a prenup would be best about one to three months before you get married. Ideally, closer to three months would be best to allow you and your partner adequate time to consider everything you’d like to include in the contract. If you anticipate having a complicated prenup with several pages and clauses, allowing yourself extra time is always a good idea.

Using HelloPrenup makes creating a prenup agreement easy. Our process works by making the prenup creation process simple, fast, and smooth. In just a few hours, you can create your prenup online. Using a specific questionnaire, you and your partner will fill out important information and answer questions that help us create the agreement. After you’ve negotiated the terms with your partner, you can simply download your automated agreement.

HelloPrenup will soon offer you a comprehensive prenuptial agreement. If you choose, you and your partner can review this with an attorney before signing. The process is that simple! Our goal is to help make prenups accessible for modern couples, taking out the barriers to cost and time that prevent people from creating prenups.

Going the traditional route of hiring a lawyer for a prenup is not only costly, but is time-consuming. On average, it will take between two and three weeks to create. Instead, HelloPrenup streamlines the process, allowing it to be done in just a few hours.

Special Circumstances 

In some cases, the validity of the prenuptial agreement may be questioned, like if the prenup was signed under circumstances of coercion. This would mean one partner pressured or bribed the other into signing the agreement. This could also be true if your partner sprung it on you right before the marriage, as you could argue that you didn’t have time to fully consider the decision. However, in some states, signing right before the wedding is not enough to invalidate it.

Expiration Clauses (Sunset Clauses)

Unless otherwise stated, prenups do not come with an expiration date. Some people, however, choose to add an expiration clause into the prenup. This would set a year or date where the prenup would be set to expire if the couple were still married. You may hear this time clause referred to as a sunset clause. For example, a sunset clause could indicate that after 20 years of marriage, the prenup will become null and void.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to adding a sunset clause to your prenup. Whether or not to include a sunset clause in your prenup is entirely up to you and your partner.

The benefit of a sunset clause in a prenup contract is that it relieves both parties of the duties or agreements that were made a long time ago. However, if you and your partner were to divorce after the prenup has expired (past the sunset clause date), you would no longer have a clear way to divide your assets other than as done under state divorce law.

A Postnup After Marriage

Many couples wonder if they can amend the terms of the prenuptial agreement after they’re already married. Some states may allow you to amend the prenup, if done in accordance to state law. In these instances, you and your partner would add an amendment or additional page to the end of the prenup.

Another option is to create a postnup after marriage. Couples often do this when they ran out of time to create a prenup. If things drastically change in a short time, some couples may wish to use a postnup to override what was written in the prenup.

 Getting Started

Now that you’ve got a good idea of when you should create a prenup, you and your partner are on the right track. Creating your prenup within a few months of your wedding will make matters simple. Time to get started!

You are writing your life story. Get on the same page with a prenup. For love that lasts a lifetime, preparation is key. Safeguard your shared tomorrows, starting today.
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