Social Media Clauses in Prenuptial Agreements
I had an interesting consultation this morning. I thought that we were just meeting to discuss my preparation of a fairly standard prenuptial agreement. However, the young woman asked that we include a “social media clause” in her prenup. While I have read several articles recently claiming that these clauses are a new trend, I didn’t really believe it, and I hadn’t had a client actually want one included yet.
“Why is this important to you?” I asked Taylor. She was in her mid-twenties, dressed in what I would consider a trendy outfit, and carrying an oversized Michael Kors bag.
She explained, “I’ve had bad experiences with close friends and boyfriends sharing too much of my life on social media. I even had a boyfriend in high school who posted pictures of me wearing barely anything for the whole world to see. The picture was meant for just him. I love my fiancé, Logan, but I don’t want there to be any confusion in my marriage as to what is unacceptable to share with the world on social media.”
When she put it that way, it made perfect sense. Going forward, I plan to include such clauses in all of my prenuptial agreements, unless my client requests that I do not. But this is actually bigger than that. The newest generation may need to proffer these agreements as soon as the relationship gets serious, even before anyone mentions the “M” word.
The social media clause that I drafted for Taylor prohibits spouses from posting any photos of their significant others on social media that could embarrass them, including nude or otherwise lewd pictures. Additionally, any post or photo that could hurt their reputations at their jobs or damage their careers is prohibited. So that the clause has teeth and isn’t something that can just easily be ignored, I included severe damages in the event that a spouse breaches this clause. The amount of damages is related to the amount of wealth that the couple or spouse has at the time of the breach.
My own daughter is in her late twenties and in a serious relationship that I believe will soon lead to a marriage proposal. When she comes to me to discuss her engagement, I will definitely encourage her to consider a social media prenuptial agreement. Without one, an angry or hurt spouse will have too much power to damage her reputation.
Call us if a social media agreement makes sense for the health of your relationship!
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About this week’s author Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.