10 Aug Social Media’s Place in Marital Agreements
We are all familiar with the increasingly pervasive grip that social media now has over our society, and that is now being reflected in modern day prenuptial and post-marital agreements. Those involved in any aspect of family law have become increasingly aware that once something is posted out there on the internet, be it a thought, an opinion, a grievance, or a photo, it is nearly impossible to erase. Simply deleting a post or tweet doesn’t cut it. Anyone with the slightest bit of technical know-how can recover deleted material and use it against their spouse as evidence in a family law matter, such as child custody or divorce.
It is for this reason that many family lawyers are incorporating social media clauses into premarital and post-marital contracts for their clients. According to an ABC News article published last month, social media clauses address important issues regarding what is and what is not acceptable for spouses to post about each other. Clauses commonly state that spouses cannot publish nude or racy content (photos, videos, or statements), embarrassing content, or content that otherwise would harm a spouse’s professional reputation. Anything that would violate the terms of the clause would first have to be cleared with the other spouse before hitting the “post” button.
Violating a Social Media Clause Can Be Costly
The need for a contractual agreement regarding social media behavior between spouses has become a matter of urgency, as inflammatory and inappropriate social media content becomes standard pieces of evidence in divorce cases. While prenuptial agreements commonly provide for relief in the event of adultery, debauchery, and other bad behavior during the marriage, social media is a brand new addition to such marital contracts.
So what are the penalties associated with violation of a social media clause? Well, that, of course, is something that would be negotiated between the spouses and their attorneys, like any other clause in a contract. Depending on the degree or class of social media grievance, couples can provide for stiff penalties when a spouse violated the clause. Social media clauses are legally binding, and therefore are much more likely to act as a deterrent to irresponsible internet behavior than a verbal agreement between spouses.
Isn’t This Common Sense?
Many would argue that the content of such social media clauses should never have to be reduced to writing. Common courtesy and respect that should exist between spouses would prevent a spouse from publishing harmful material against the other. But when it comes to affairs of the heart, and emotions’ rule over common sense, it is understandable why social media clauses are becoming more popular inclusions in a prenup. People react on impulse when things go sour in a relationship. To combat the long-lasting and far-reaching effects on the reputation of either spouse, social media clauses attempt to deter retaliatory posting by imposing hefty penalties on the breaching party.
Contact Our Family Law Firm Today
Please contact the family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC today to discuss the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, or to draft such an agreement after you have gotten married. We are here to help with all of your family law needs.