The OMG Pre-Nup: New “Social Media Clause” Is Appearing In Marriage Contracts

Wedding_cake_with_pillar_supports,_2009There is a new addition to prenuptial agreements that are a rather depressing sign of our times. A “social media clause” is being added to protect married couples from later embarrassing postings if things do not work out. The language of the clause is sweeping and, if you thought prenups took the romance out of marriages, this clause makes the whole enterprise downright scary.

We have seen a highly problematic trend toward the inclusion of a “non-disparagement clause” in business service contracts and agreements from dentists to photographers. The agreements allow shoddy businesses to hold customers liable for simply criticizing their services or performance. These customers rarely realize that the form that they signed had such a provision.

Now we are adding the same obnoxious element to a marriage. For someone making less than $5 million, it can impose a $50,000 fine per episode. The clause however includes not just negative but positive postings. New York-based attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza is quoted as saying that the clause requires the parties to “agree not to post, tweet, or otherwise share via social media, positive, negative, insulting, embarrassing, or flattering images or content of the other.” This is to avoid one former lover saying the she or he thought a picture or posting was a good thing.

For those who like this addition, it is sometimes a glimpse into a very weird relationship by conventional standards. Sheri Meyers, a Los Angeles-based “relationship and family therapist” had such a clause drawn up for her prenup with “relationship coach” Jonathon Aslay. She insists that it has added a cautionary element to their relationship where one will say to the other “This an “SMP” [social media prenup] moment. Is this OK [to post]? Is this crossing the line?” For me, that sounds just about as romantic as a 30(b)(6) deposition.

Those advocating these clauses often cite the 50 percent divorce rate as justification. However, I wonder if that divorce rate is due in part to the fact that people are increasingly treating marriages as purely contractual and transient relationships. It is marriage without the need to fully trust like Reagan’s old “trust but verify” approach to U.S./Russian relations. Couples are treated as potential adversaries and threats. The “piece of mind” that comes from such clauses is based on a fear that this person could change from your soulmate to your stalker in the click of a mouse. Call me old fashioned but I would still rather that leap of faith comes with romance.

Source: ABC

19 thoughts on “The OMG Pre-Nup: New “Social Media Clause” Is Appearing In Marriage Contracts”

  1. Which is why a government should not be involved in marriage. imo Of course this will involve an argument of redundancies because people cannot work things out for themselves

  2. As the insanity of governments gets worse, why bring them into your life more than necessary with a ‘legal marriage’. As divorce becomes easier, it serves less of a purpose to keep the two together. Better they do that on their own; the tie of a mutual child could be stronger than the legal bonds of marriage. In the end, its up to both of you to decide how you want it to be.

  3. I’m not so sure they are not a bad ideal. People follow social media so much that they try and live others lives vicariously.

    1. It would depend on the situation I am sure. I am old lol. As a young person I am sure it would apply. Facebook is really a trip the way people reinvent themselves.

  4. domestic violence is on the rise also and that plays a big part of marriage and divorce in todays society. from what im reading and apparently some people want it both ways. well sorry but it doesnt work like that. you cant or shouldnt expect a abused woman or man ( and yes i said man) they are abused by women and there are many sites dedicated to those men who are not ashamed to speak out about the abuse they suffer but i digress.

    The rate of abused victims has risen along with those rates and some people apparently would prefer that the abused victims stay in those relationships for the sake of the children. I totally disagree with that because the ones who do end up raising children that tend to become abusers or abusees because its how they were raised. much like drug addicts its the new normal to them. as for these clauses those people are playing right into the hands of those who are out to destroy nuclear families. to keep the chaos and confusion going so that humanity is distracted from the truth of what is truly happening

    1. Abuse is terrible, I suffered it 3 times in every way but I would never put a clause in a prenup about Social Networking. That is beyond it all imo.

  5. The line between love and hate is thin, indeed.

    I drafted a prenup for a couple in excess of 35 years ago. It was the only one I ever drafted. The couple remains happily married to this day. Their first grandchild is due in September. In retrospect, as much as I would like to claim some modicum of credit for this state of affairs, I think the prenup was unnecessary which,come to think of it, may be the test of a good prenup.

  6. Barnassey, So sorry about your daughter. Was the animal caged for his sexual assault?

  7. Young guy here. I have to honestly say this is not surprising. The simple fact that marriage no longer means what it used to be, shows that this trend is increasing. No a lot of guys arent letting the government take care of the kid, but pretty much have realized why get taken to the cleaners in a divorce when simply having a child out of wedlock works just as good? I lost a house and two cars to my ex-wife and “I” was the one who initiated it. I caught her cheating on me with a man who would later on molest his own daughter. So many guys 18-33 just wont do it. If you want to see how bad it is watch a documentary named Divorce Corp. It will open your eyes.

  8. HOPEFULLY, they get hit by the same bus at the same time… end of problem.

  9. When states have to implement ‘revenge sex’ statutes to prevent vengeful couples from posting sexually explicit photos of their ex-significant other, we know that romance is dead.
    This is probably no more than an extension of the pre-nup non-disclosures that couples like Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman had. Think how close mouthed each of his wives have been. And each of the new gfs have been vetted by the Scientologists. Do you think John Travolta’s wife is not sitting on a goldmine of information?

  10. Saucy – I agree wholeheartedly. The exponential increase in births to single moms is sobering. This is not where a committed lifetime couple simple doesn’t subscribe to the institution of marriage, but provide their children a stable family. The trend is for women to have kids with men who leave them in the lurch, passing on their responsibilities to the government, which makes a poor parent.

    These kids have statistically far higher risks for doing poorly in school, dropping out, joining gangs, committing crimes, and going to jail.

    A stable family might not be PC nowadays, but the kids pay the freight for the choices of their parents.

  11. This infringes on free speech, especially when these clauses are in business contracts. We already have libel and slander laws. That should do it.

    And it’s true that marriages nowadays are treated as temporary. People don’t approach it with the commitment to stick together through good times and bad, reserving divorce for truly serious circumstances. People get the 7 year itch and it’s divorce.

  12. I have a dear friend I have known most of my life who is married to one woman in real life, and also has a second marriage in Second Life. The real life spouse not only attended but helped plan the Second Life wedding, a massive affair in which all stops were pulled. The Second Life wife is a fashion designer and she let it all out for the occasion. Property in Second Life is determined by the exchange rate between dollars and lindens, which is about $1 to 250L these days. The Second LIfe spouse lives in Norway, and the real life spouse lives near Chicago.

    They are all happy now, of course. But any divorce, and our August Host has another example to teach.

  13. JT wrote “the 50 percent divorce rate”

    Census data clearly shows that both marriage and divorce rates have been declining for decades. For marriage: 1980=15.9, 1990=14.9, 2000=12.5, 2008=10.6; for divorce: 1980=7.9, 1990=7.2, 2000=6.2, 2008=5.2; with all rates per 1,000 population aged 15–64 years; some exclusions apply — see original PDF.

    Not surprisingly, single-parent households have steadily increased over the same time frame.

    Fox News types often sneer at the “welfare states” of Scandinavia, but Denmark and Sweden are the only countries in the list of 12 which have a *rising* trend, albeit not completely consistent.

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