Prenuptial Agreements Enter The Digital Age
A recent article by CBS News discussed the trend among those preparing prenuptial agreements to include provisions concerning social media behavior. Though discussing Facebook or Twitter may seem insignificant to the ultimate success or failure of a marriage, some couples believe that the clauses are incredibly important, given the ease with which social media can be used to wreak havoc on relationships.
These new “social media” prenup clauses typically involve prohibitions for either spouse to post nude or embarrassing photos, videos, or comments that might cause harm to their significant other’s reputation. The prenups require that spouses treat each other with respect during and after a divorce and promise not to expose certain embarrassing photographs or information to any third parties, including posting them onto any social media sites.
The clauses were first developed after news stories appeared about divorce cases where an angry spouse refused to turn over embarrassing personal photos or videos and then proceeded to post them online for the world to see. Because many courts have been reluctant to find that privacy rights prevent ex-spouses from posting such embarrassing videos, finding a private remedy to the trouble understandably appeals to those worried about these types of issues.
Though you may think the social media prenups are only for those with high-profile careers, like actors, athletes, or musicians, experts say that anyone worried about having sensitive information exposed during a potentially hostile divorce could benefit from this type of protection. People whose businesses rely on their name or brand, like interior designers or lawyers, might also benefit from such a clause, given the lasting harm that nasty online comments or photos can cause to a person’s reputation.
Of course, many believe that these social media clauses basically put into words what is only basic decency. Though you may not feel the need to draft a social media clause into your prenup, experts say that simply raising the issue with a spouse is a good way to be sure you both are on the same page. By broaching the subject, you can ensure that you and your spouse have shared beliefs about what kinds of things should be open for public consumption and what things should remain private.
Source: “Couples Beginning To Include Social Media Clauses In Prenuptial Agreements,” by Melanie Roy, published at Philadelphia.CBSLocal.com.