It doesn’t take much effort to find information about people online. After all, people share more on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter than ever before. With a few clicks of a mouse, we can track down information about just about anyone.
Most people would expect this and understand that what they put on these sites paints a pretty detailed picture of their lives. However, when the pictures they are painting are about others — like an ex — the line between what should and should not be shared can get blurry. Because of this, many people have started to include social media clauses in prenuptial agreements.
Social media clauses basically work to limit the damage that can be done when people end a marriage and no longer have an interest in protecting each other. If you are getting divorced, then you may actually find yourself tempted to spill your ex’s dirty secrets, bad habits or hurtful statements made over the years on Facebook just to hurt that person.
Technically, this would be quite simple. Put up the information on social media and it becomes instantly available to followers, friends and/or strangers. However, doing so could have legal and financial repercussions, particularly if you addressed this in a prenup.
In order to stop protect each other’s online reputation, couples are including clauses limiting what can and cannot be disclosed on social media. This information, called “Protected Information,” can be detailed in the prenup as well as the consequences for violations.
However, if and how these clauses can be enforced depends heavily on factors like state laws and whether the prenup itself is even enforceable.
Social media is not going away any time soon and people continue to evolve in how we use it. Users already take steps to protect themselves from threats like hackers, cyber bullies and spammers, but it may also be wise to consider your options for protecting yourself from the bitterness and angry rants of an ex.
Discussing your legal options for how you may be able to do this with your attorney can help you gain some peace of mind in knowing that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself.
Source: Forbes, “Changing Your Relationship Status This Valentine’s Day? Consider A Social Media Clause,” Jeff Landers, Feb. 9, 2016