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There's a new trend emerging in prenups: social media restrictions. After you and your spouse enter blissful matrimony, a social media prenup could potentially be used to prevent embarrassing or "ugly" pictures of you from being posted on Facebook or Instagram.
This definitely sounds like a lawyerly solution to a first-world problem. But should you consider a social media prenup?
- Do you need a prenup? What terms should it include? Contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.
Social Media Prenup Imposes Digital Restrictions
Prenuptial agreements are intended to reaffirm each spouse's property ownership as well as financial responsibilities during (and after) a marriage. It has generally been frowned upon to include personal rules in a prenup, like who has to do the dishes or when to visit relatives, and it can lead to an invalid prenup.
Social media prenups put a new spin what you might be able to put in a conventional prenup. New York-based attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza told the New York Daily News that there can be "real damage" caused by a spouse's social media activity. A social media prenup tries to mitigate this damage by making each spouse accountable for what he or she posts about the other spouse.
Carrozza told ABC News that a typical social media clause in a prenup prohibits posting nude or embarrassing photos or posts likely to harm a spouse's professional reputation. The punishment for doing so? The clause Carrozza uses makes each offending post or tweet worth $50,000 in penalties.
In many ways, a social media prenup is an expanded version of a confidentiality agreement, which is already included in many prenups.
Are Social Media Clauses Valid?
When put in terms of either spouse's financial or professional well-being, social media clauses in prenups make sense. Prenups aren't designed to deal with hurt feelings or whom to spend Christmas with, but they are well equipped to deal with financial gains and losses.
Contracts in general are more palatable to courts when obligations are in terms of money and not nebulous or ill-defined roles. According to the Daily News, Carrozza notes monetary fines are more common for "post-breakup violations," but "in-relationship flubs" merit something like "scrubbing the toilet." A court is far less likely to enforce a toilet-scrubbing punishment than a monetary fine.