Social media is increasingly an every day presence in most of our lives so it may not be that surprising that couples are now taking steps to ensure it does not ruin their relationship. A typical ‘social media prenup’ contract clause states that couples can not post nude, embarrassing or incriminating photos or posts that might harm their partners’ reputation. If they do the penalty for posting on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc, is often a large monetary one each time they break the clause.
It may seem extreme to have a written contract rather than the couple coming to a mutual agreement about privacy in a conversation but many couples say it makes it easier to deal with tricky situations in the future.
One example of a social media prenup is that of Los Angeles based relationship therapist Sheri Meyers who decided to draw one up between her and her boyfriend Jonathon Aslay, who works as a relationship coach.
‘For me, it was about privacy, what is for us and what is for the world, so we needed that discussion. What Jonathon and I do is he’ll say, “This is an SMP [social media prenup] moment. Is this OK [to post]? Is this crossing the line?” It’s two sentences, versus a paragraph or an hour [discussion]. It’s not a big deal, anymore.’
She added that it’s not about a lack of trust between couples; it’s about keeping things simple and clear-cut from the very beginning, even when you’re loved up as you may not always be that way. The risk that an angry ex might resort to posting something incriminating and embarrassing in revenge is a motivator for signing this type of prenup.
Indeed, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers more than 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say that issues involving social networking are on the rise in divorce proceedings.
While social media prenups may not totally rectify the problem they do encourage couples to modify their behavior, especially after a break-up. They are untested but it may make people not want to take the risk.
What do you think of a social media prenup? Would you sign one and do you see them becoming a UK trend? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org