Social media is a daily, major force in most of our lives. From keeping up with family and friends on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to connecting with new people and meeting new friends, social media platforms are powerful tools, and a tool that family law is only catching up to now. Increasingly, social media is being used as a tool in separations and divorces. Social media content, posted by one party and captured by the other via screen shots or other methods is more regularly being seen brought as evidence in child custody cases, domestic violence allegations, to uncover assets one party is attempting to hide from the other, or simply to impeach one party’s credibility.
Social media has become the norm in everyday life, and has had such a recent impact on family law courts that many family law attorneys have begun to include social media clauses in prenuptial agreements.
Previously, many people assumed that prenuptial agreements were only tools of the famous or very wealthy, but today, many people enter into prenuptial agreements to protect previously owned property, or if their prospective spouse carries a lot of debt. Also, for some people, a prenuptial agreement is simply a way to prospectively divide property at a time when you are friendly and fair to one another, instead of having to do to at a time when you are hurt or angry with the other person. Additionally, prenuptial agreements are ideal places to spell out social media contact following any subsequent separation or divorce.
The reason that social media clauses are becoming more standard in prenuptial agreements is that these clauses help to preserve the privacy and right to privacy of each party. These clauses actively discourage either party from making damaging, untrue or disparaging comments about the other, which could result in real damage to the personal or professional reputations of those at the receiving end of social media slams.
Social media clauses in prenuptial agreements typing define what kinds of posts about the other party would be allowed to publish to a social media platform. These clauses also outline the corresponding penalty if either party violates the terms of the prenuptial agreement. These penalties vary depending on the assets, income and agreement of the parties, but can be quite serious. Additionally, parties who willfully break the terms of a previously agreed-to prenuptial agreement risk running afoul of the family court judge hearing their case.
Given the popularity of social media, these clauses are likely to become more commonplace within prenuptial agreements. If you have an existing prenuptial agreement, or are contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement, please contact the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton today. We have been serving southern California for decades, and are an experienced family firm.