Social media prenuptial agreements gain in popularity

Agreements can include fines or household chores for violations

Most married couples share secrets with one another that they probably wouldn't want shared with family members or employers, but with the rise of social media the line between what is private and what is public has blurred significantly. Now many couples are turning to social media clauses in prenuptial agreements to prevent embarrassing posts and photos from being sent into the online world, according to CBS New York. While this latest family law trend is new, matrimonial lawyers say it is likely to grow as social media takes an ever more important place in people's lives.

The social media prenup

Including what can and cannot be posted about a spouse on social media can help set important boundaries in a relationship. While one spouse, for example, may think a picture of his wife in her bathing suit looks flattering, the wife may disagree. With a social media prenuptial agreement, the husband would have to get his wife's approval before posting any photos of her.

Once a picture or video is posted on social media, it essentially remains on the Internet forever. That fact can lead to not only embarrassing social situations later in life, but could even affect job prospects, especially for those who rely on their good reputation in order to stay employed.

Monetary consequences

The consequences of violating a social media prenuptial agreement vary depending on the income of the spouses and whether the violation occurred during or after a marriage. Violations that occur during a relationship may only result in the offending spouse having to perform a household chore, but wealthy spouses could face fines of up to $50,000 for a violation that happens after a marriage has ended.

While the issue may seem lighthearted, there is a serious side that is being addressed by the social media prenuptial agreements. Revenge porn, for example, has been used by some embittered ex-spouses to harass and embarrass their former partners. Meanwhile, family law attorneys say that social media posts are increasingly being used as evidence during contentious divorce proceedings.

Writing a prenuptial agreement

While many people feel uncomfortable writing a prenuptial agreement, the truth is that such agreements are simply a practical step to take and not a reflection on how likely a marriage is to survive.

A couple that is looking to create a prenuptial agreement should talk to an experienced family law attorney in order to do so. Such an attorney will have the legal expertise couples need to make sure a prenuptial agreement covers all of their concerns and does not leave them with any unwanted surprises in the future.