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MORE COUPLES INCLUDING SOCIAL NETWORKING CLAUSES IN MARITAL AGREEMENTS

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In addition to including how property will be divided, many couples are now including provisions relating to social media in their marital agreements.

Marital agreements are contracts that traditionally outline which of a couple's assets are considered marital property, which assets are considered separate property and any financial provisions that will be made if the couple eventually decides to divorce, states Forbes. However, more and more couples in California and throughout the country are now including social media clauses in their marital agreements that contain certain rules each spouse has to abide by when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Social media clauses serve different purposes

According to Fox News, the purpose of these social media clauses is to prevent spouses from posting defamatory or derogatory statements of their partner online, to prevent private or sensitive information from becoming public and to prohibit spouses from posting comments or photographs online that put their partner in a negative light. However, depending on a couple's individual situation, spouses may choose to include provisions that are unique to their individual situation.

For example, some couples may include a provision that prohibits their partner from positing photos online of them without their consent while others may include provisions that require their partner to talk to them before they communicate with another person they meet online. To ensure that this aspect of their marital agreement is successful, Fox News suggests that couples should be extremely specific and name the exact websites, photos and videos that have restrictions on them.

What can a marital agreement include?

In addition to distinguishing between marital and separate property and how social media will be used, couples can also use their marital agreement to:

- Determine which spouse is responsible for certain liabilities, such a student loan or credit card debt

- Provide for children from previous relationships

- Settle questions of finances relating to who will manage credit card spending and finances, how much will be put into savings and how any joint bank accounts will be handled

When devising their marital agreement, couples should avoid including provisions that are ridiculous or favor one spouse too heavily. For instance, couples should refrain from including stipulations relating to hair color, weight gain or how often relatives are allowed to visit. According to Forbes, provisions like these are not likely to hold up in a court of law.

Devising a marital agreement

Couples in California who are in the process of creating a marital agreement should carefully consider what provisions they want to include in this legal contract. If you and your spouse or fiancée believe that a marital agreement could benefit your relationship, speak with an attorney to find out what legal steps you should take next.

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