Social media clauses, also known as “social media prenups,” provide protections for those seeking to prevent damning information from being posted about them on the web by a spouse either before, during, and/or following divorce.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers discovered that over 80 percent of divorce attorneys believe that divorce proceedings involving social networking-related issues are on the rise. In these suits, couples battle it out over sometimes slanderous posts on websites such as Facebook and Twitter that are posted to shame or to express anger at another spouse. In an attempt to provide protections against social media assaults from current and former spouses, couples are entering into prenuptial agreements that provide special social media clauses that govern what a spouse can and cannot post about their spouse online.
The Need for Social Media Prenups
Social media prenups are necessary for a variety of reasons, the primary reason being the need to protect one’s reputation. During divorce proceedings, emotions can run high and disgruntled spouses often take to social media pages to air their partner’s dirty laundry and distress over an impending divorce. Some even go so far as to post nude and other compromising photos of their spouse in order to embarrass and shame.
Social media prenups provide a form of legal redress that can be taken against a spouse who uses social media to place their spouse in a negative light. This need for legal redress is significant because in this digital age, the posting of compromising photos and other media can’t be stopped by simply destroying the physical copy. Nowadays, photos can live on through the internet, and can quickly become outside of the control of the original poster.
Social media clauses are not just for celebrities and other high-profile people. A social media prenup is for any couple that would like to legally address the expectations they have for how their partner will refer to them on social media websites. Social media prenups are especially relevant for those whose business is focused on their trustworthiness and personal brand. Unsavory postings about a person by their spouse can have damaging effects on one’s public reputation, regardless of whether what was posted was in fact true or had any merit. Social media prenups might not be for every couple, but a discussion about what each party feels comfortable about the other partner posting on social media websites can set verbal parameters that can guide future activity.
The Typical Social Media Prenup Clause
Prenuptial agreements are legally binding documents that govern how both parties to a divorce act and treat one another upon the filing of divorce. A social media clause is one part of a prenuptial agreement, and can provide monetary penalties when violated by either spouse. Common social media clauses include prohibitions against posting nude and/or otherwise compromising photos and other media that could damages the spouse’s reputation.
Clauses can be more specific and require agreements not to share, tweet or post anything about the spouse, their children, and the divorce proceedings on social media websites. Penalties for violating the clause can be extreme, especially for those whose business is reputational based. In fact, one divorce attorney stated that in a recent prenuptial agreement, clients agreed to pay upwards of $50,000 for every social media post that violated the social media prenup.
If you are getting married and are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. Contact the Fairfield County divorce law attorneys at our law firm in Fairfield County, Connecticut today for help.