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Lifestyle clauses becoming a common part of prenuptial agreements

It's common for people to use prenuptial agreements to protect their assets. However, many are adding lifestyle clauses to clearly layout their expectations. Additions to these agreements can be anything from weight requirements to how much time a mate must spend with his or her family, and even consequences for infidelity or income requirements. In addition to providing security, many feel these so-called "love contracts" lay the ground rules for marriage and help mates better understand what the other person wants from the relationship.

Infidelity is a common lifestyle clause, especially among celebrities. For example, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones reportedly have a clause that says she would receive $2.8 million per year if they divorce plus a $5 million bonus if Douglas was caught cheating.

Rules about confidentiality are also common, and often linked to financial punishment if violated. This clause prevents mates from vindictive actions like distributing revealing photos, going on a talk show or signing a book deal that would reveal private information about the other spouse.

Married couples aren't the only ones benefiting from these types of agreements. There's a growing trend among unmarried couples to create cohabitation agreements. These contracts clearly lay out the expectations and protect each partner. In one recent case, a surviving partner was able to sue and win for a one-third share of their deceased partner's estate, mainly because of their cohabitation agreement.

Life and lifestyles are increasingly complicated. Utilizing an experienced attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement is a wise choice to protect an individual's assets and personal rights.

Source: Source: New York Daily News, "'Love contracts' that make requirements on sex, weight, cheating are increasingly common, experts say," Lisa Marsh, June 3, 2013

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