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Prenups and Social Media

August 11, 2014 | Posted In Family Law, Recent News |

Prenups are getting onboard with the modern age, and will now include stipulations to limit a spouse’s social media postings, especially in the event of a divorce, family attorneys in New Jersey report. As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sharing sites become more and more popular for sharing information—for anything ranging from a picture of a new pair of shoes to a daily status update to public shaming—couples considering a prenup are taking no risks, with many ensuring that their significant other cannot slander them online in such a public forum, should the marriage take a turn for the worse. 

Although confidentiality clauses have been included in prenups for decades, most commonly for high-profile or extremely wealthy clients, restricting social media posts is new territory, but sometimes necessary in today’s world of instant (and sometimes over) sharing. When nearly every event is documented on a cell phone camera or video recording, these saved memories can become weapons for use in a divorce or custody struggle, or even just as blackmail or slander to harm the other party. 

In adding the language to restrict social media postings, family lawyers in New Jersey say that the key is to make it as broad as possible, to cover all forums of social media websites available at the time of the marriage, and include those that will be developed in the years to come. The phrase “including but not limited to” when listing the types or sites of social media that are being discussed is a good way to incorporate technological advances that may change the face of online sharing in the future. 

Additionally, most family lawyers recommend having a set idea of what should be kept confidential or private within the marriage, even in a divorce. This list of private items could include wealth, property information, other financial records, personal habits, vices, or preferences, and any tangible images such as videos or photos. These items will be off-limits for social media posting or sharing by either spouse. 

Not all lawyers are recommending or even mentioning a social media privacy restriction clause for their clients’ prenups, but it is something to keep in mind, family lawyers in New Jersey say. In today’s world, social media postings are public and can be spread through family, friends, law enforcement officials, employers, and anyone else in a matter of minutes. The penalties for violating the terms of a prenup are typically fines, usually in prohibitively high dollar amounts to act as a deterrent for both parties. 

More and more restrictions and laws regarding social media and digital information are being passed in today’s world, as these websites and technologies have become, essentially, online records of everyday lives. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, or you have been burned by a spouse or ex on a social media website, talk to a family attorney at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, a New Jersey law firm, to determine the best course of action to protect your privacy. 

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