Social media has long since taken over our social, professional and political environment, and now it is finding an appropriate place in the field of family law. Once the decision is made to post a video, photo, or thought on the internet, it is nearly impossible to truly erase. The permanent footprint that social media content leaves behind has made the area of family law much like a soap opera these days. Racy tweets, incriminating photos and/or videos, and explicit Facebook messages meant at one time to be private are suddenly used against another litigant in open court for everyone to judge. There is no doubt about it: social media can do some serious damage to a case and to a relationship.
It is for this reason that many family lawyers are incorporating social media clauses into their clients’ prenuptial agreements. According to a recent ABC News story, social media prenups address important questions as to what is and what is not acceptable for spouses to put out there on the internet. Social media provisions commonly prohibit the publication of racy photos, embarrassing videos, and generally any content that could otherwise harm a spouse’s professional reputation. A broad social media clause will force spouses to think, and consult with each other, before they press “send.”
Creative Penalties for Violation of the Social Media Clause
The need to reduce acceptable and unacceptable social media behavior to writing is urgent, considering the burgeoning popularity that social media platforms have gained, and the damage we have seen their content cause, especially in family law cases. But what are the consequences for posting inappropriate content? While prenuptial agreements commonly provide for relief in the event of adultery, debauchery and other bad behavior during the marriage, social media is a newly imagined provision, and so are its remedies.
Remedies for violation of the social media provisions in a prenup naturally can be negotiated between spouses and their attorneys before signing on the dotted line. Some agreements provide for stiff penalties, which can range from having to scrub the toilet every week for a month, to being charged thousands of dollars per violation. Because prenuptial agreements are legally binding documents, failure to scrub the toilet after posting prohibited content is something that can potentially be enforced in a court of law.
Spouses enter into the contract of marriage never expecting things to go sour. However, experience and statistics should tell us that marriage unfortunately does not always work out. When it comes to affairs of the heart, it is understandable why social media clauses are becoming more popular additions to the standard prenuptial agreement. Spouses can become irrational and spiteful in the heat of the moment, and so to protect your marriage from the damage social media can do, including a social media clause in your prenuptial agreement can provide some peace of mind.
Contact Our Attorneys Today
If you would like to discuss the advantages to using a prenuptial agreement before you and your spouse tie the knot, please contact the attorneys at Ayers Family Law, LLC today. We are prepared to serve you in any way we can relevant to family law.