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Social network rules could be included in a prenuptial agreement

There is no doubt that social networking has become part of the lives of most California residents. In fact, it is part of the daily routine of many -- whether they check for updates on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while they are having their morning coffee or during lunch break. Unfortunately, it has also become a way for vindictive people to humiliate partners, leading to the need for a social network prenuptial agreement.

The biggest problem with derogatory posts on social networks may be the financial repercussions it could have on the victim’s life. Because the issue has been well-publicized, drafting such an agreement is likely not an awkward conversation to have with a loved one, as both partners will want to be protected against such abuse. It could be an addition to a couple’s premarital agreement or a separate contract, and it commonly includes directives about what type of posts will not be allowed.

For such an agreement to be effective, it should be specific about what each party would regard as embarrassing and unflattering. Web sites should be named, and it may be a good idea to agree that one spouse would not post anything about the other without his or her consent. It could ruin a professional person’s career if his or her partner posts sensitive information that is private or raises questions about the partner’s professional abilities.

It is important for California residents to remember that, once information or images are posted, it cannot be retracted, as even if it is deleted, chances are that it had already gone viral, causing potential damage to a partner's career. Couples are advised to utilize the services of professionals to advise them in using language that will stand up in court in the event of litigation. Adding a social network agreement to a prenuptial agreement will protect the interests of both parties.

Source: Fox News, "Should you create a social networking prenup?", John Brandon, Aug. 1, 2014

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