PreMarital Agreements And Social Media
As you and your significant other begin to discuss marriage, you may not have thought much about your social media presence beyond the relationship status update on your Facebook page or the name change on your Twitter account.
If you and your partner-to-be are negotiating a Premarital Agreement, you may not have discussed whether social media accounts and online sharing should be included in your Premarital Agreement but it’s a topic that you should consider.
Social networking clauses are becoming increasingly popular in premarital agreements as more and more couples try to protect their online reputation and right to privacy. One partner may be a “share everything” type of person, while the other is more private. In some cases, a spouse’s career may be jeopardized because of careless or provocative pictures, tweets, or posts. It is important that you consider how using social media will intersect with sharing your life with someone.
What Can You Limit?
A social media clause can include limitations about images and information that each spouse can post online about the other. Prohibited actions may include limits about online photos of the children; images of the couple at parties; or images of a spouse smoking.
Provisions in the Premarital Agreement could include rules for tagging the other spouse, or requirements that all settings be at the highest privacy setting, or requirements for access by invitation only.
The restrictions on social media use must be as detailed as possible and should include references to the harm that is intended to be prevented. Without the detail and connection to potential harm, these clauses run the risk of being violations of free speech, contrary to public policy, and unenforceable.
The penalties for violation can vary depending on how the couple wants to handle a breach. Penalties can also vary depending on whether the violation occurred during the marriage or after separation.
Social Media and Divorce
If you and your spouse separate, you should be wary of what you post online regardless of whether there is a social media clause in your Premarital Agreement or regardless of whether you have a Premarital Agreement. Online pictures, videos, blogs, chats, and posts can be used against you and you may find yourself eating your very words.
A social media clause in a Premarital Agreement can cause a spouse to have second thoughts before uploading a bevy of images or making a careless post or comment that has unintended but real harm. You can help protect your own reputation, professional interests, and personal relationships though discussions with your soon-to-be-spouse about the boundaries of social media use and use of a Premarital Agreement to clarify the rules.
At Parker Bryan Family Law, our Raleigh Family Law attorneys represent anyone who is about to be married and who is considering entering into a Premarital Agreement. For more information regarding social media and online protection, contact Parker Bryan Family Law today.