Should You Have a Social Media Prenup to Protect You During Your Divorce?

Written July 16th, 2014
Categories: Divorce

ID-100138412People who live in Jupiter, Wellington and elsewhere in Palm Beach County, know that social media is here to stay. However, the idea of social media merely as a form of communication and entertainment is clearly outdated. It is now evident that the power of social media can extend into everything from impacting career success to damaging reputations to disrupting marriages.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys say the involvement of social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise.

In response to its evolvement, more and more couples are signing “social media prenups” before tying the knot.

What is a “social media prenup”?
A “social media prenup” is a clause in a prenuptial agreement that states very clearly what each spouse is allowed to put online and what consequences will occur if the rules are broken. A typical social media clause states that a spouse will not post nude, embarrassing or professionally damaging content to social media platforms.

Are “social media prenups” just for celebrities or high-profile couples?
No. “Social media prenups” are often beneficial for people who have a business built upon their personal brand- whether it’s an interior designer or an attorney. Negative social media can result in job loss and the loss of their livelihood.

What are the penalties for violating the social media clause?
The penalties are established by the couple, but are typically monetary. The actual amount set depends on a person’s wealth, but at least one New York divorce attorney reports that she typically uses $50,000 per post or tweet for clients making below $5 million.

What are the benefits of a “social media prenup”?
Some argue that a “social media prenup” helps couples identify areas where they are never going to compromise by establishing boundaries of what will always be off limits and remain private. By understanding and clearly knowing what is appropriate behavior and the consequences for acting inappropriately, it allows the couple to feel more secure and to be more relaxed.

Additionally, it can steer individuals away from the lure of retaliation/lashing out after a divorce by motiving a certain type of behavior. While ugliness can erupt during the dissolution of marriage, it is better to keep it off the internet.

 

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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