Prenuptial agreements can pre-decide matters such as who keeps the house in the event of a divorce, but did you also know that prenuptial agreements can spell out the somewhat stickier issue of what you and your spouse can say about each other on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites?
Called a “social media prenup” an increasing number of couples are including a social media clause in their prenuptial agreements as way to protect both parties from social media meltdowns during marriage and/or divorce.
What rules can these prenups call for? Typical social media clauses have each party agree not to post on Faceook, tweet on Twitter, or otherwise share via social media site, any images or content that could be construed as negative, insulting, embarrassing, or unflattering. Some couples call for a complete blackout on posting photos of children or about the family business or other money and asset-related issues. In the event of a divorce, social media prenups might call for each spouse to refrain from posting anything — good or bad — on social media.
If you’re already married, you don’t have to miss out. Social media clauses can also be included in post-nuptial agreements, which similar to prenups, can spell out certain expectations in behavior. The key difference is that post-nups are put in place after the marriage has already begun. Good news for couples who got married in the days before Facebook and Twitter!
What are the consequences for breaking the boundaries of the social media prenup or post-nup? Like other clauses that relate to behavior, if one spouse breaks the contract, the sanctions are usually monetary in nature and spelled out before either party signs off.
Is a social media clause right for you? Given the number of headline-making cases that stem from someone intentionally (or inadvertently) posting negative information about their spouse on Facebook and elsewhere, these kinds of prenuptial agreements may make practical sense for 21st century marriages.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice to enter marriage (or go through a divorce) with a guarantee that an angry spouse couldn’t use social media to take out their frustrations publicly — and be required to pay the price if he or she did?
Maybe a better name is social media life insurance.
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