Why do I need a social media clause in a prenup?

Utah couples should understand how their online lives could become part of their divorces—and how a prenup can help.

The online world can be a wonderful one for Utah residents. The ability to connect with others and share pictures, stories and more offers many joys and benefits. However, it also can be very permanent. The "delete" key or function can only work to a certain point.

As explained by Digital Trends, Facebook itself admits that when people delete posts, the information does not really go away. If nothing else, it has already been backed up on servers somewhere. It can always resurface. Add to that the fact that a person can never "unsee" something once it has been seen and all of a sudden, the permanence of social media takes on a whole new twist.

Social activity when love goes sour

Spouses who may sadly be approaching or in the midst of a divorce might all too easily be swayed to get online and make comments about their partners. They may post photos that their soon-to-be exes would not want seen by others. Even if these posts are eventually deleted by the poster, they have been seen and possibly shared by that time. They are on a backup server somewhere.

ABC News explains that situations like the above have given rise to a new type of provision in prenuptial agreements. Commonly referred to as social prenups or even social media clauses, they essentially dictate what people can or cannot post about their partners online. Posts that violate the agreement may result in fines and some of these fines could be as much as $50,000.

Proving damage

In order for a person to receive financial compensation for a negative post made by a partner, it is recommended to have the ability to show how the post caused damage. Harm can be done to a person's professional reputation or business. An example would be if one spouse made a comment that the other was horrible with money. If that latter spouse was an accountant, the potential for professional harm can be seen.

Reasonableness always matters

According to Forbes, ensuring that all clauses in a prenuptial agreement are reasonable is important. For example, attempting to use a prenup to dictate what hair color or weight one partner should have or maintain may lead to the agreement being invalid.

When it comes to social media clauses, Fox News indicates that reasonableness once again must be used. It would not be reasonable for a person to be unable to show a picture at a child's birthday party with the other parent present.

Because a prenup is a legally binding document, working with a lawyer is always recommended when creating one. Getting help to ensure a marital contract is valid from the start can be helpful if it is ever needed down the road. Utah residents are encouraged to contact the office of Kristopher K. Greenwood & Associates, LC for more information.