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Social media clauses gain popularity

Social media clauses are on the rise, giving Colorado couples a way to keep a spouse from posting embarrassing information on the internet during or after marriage. A social media clause in a prenuptial agreement generally dictates what a person can post on certain websites and might limit things like humiliating photos on Instagram or negative statements on Twitter. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the popularity of the clauses continues to grow. One attorney, who is based in New York, suggested that about 33 percent of her clients sought written agreements regarding social media exposure and behavior. Many couples choose blanket statements about what is or is not acceptable on social media, and the language might include how failure to adhere to the terms is punished.

In many cases, the sanctions for breaching the clause include economic payouts, and the size of the punishments can vary depending on each person's financial standing. Some suggest that a $50,000 payout for each violation is a fair penalty because things that are posted on public social networking websites can be damaging to a person's career and financial future.

Unflattering posts on the internet can also negatively affect a couple's divorce proceedings. One report suggests that some judges may see defamation of a former partner online might be grounds for denying alimony, and location information and pictures posted on these sites might be used as evidence during proceedings.

Language limiting the couple's social media activities is only one of many aspects that might be included in prenuptial agreement. Other issues, including property rights and alimony considerations, might also shape a marital agreement between a new couple. A family law lawyer may be able to help a client draft a prenuptial agreement that provides for the future of both parties.

Source: ABC News, "I Love You, You're Perfect, but Watch What You Facebook: Social Media Prenups", Lauren Effron, June 03, 2014

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