By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We all have things we’d prefer not get posted online. But what if it was your significant other doing the posting? A popular new trend is the ‘social media prenup.’
A typical social media clause states that couples can’t post nude or embarrassing photos that might harm their significant other’s reputation.
“It’s just a way for people to really put down on paper what the expectations are that after you’re divorced or when you’re in the midst of a divorce that you’re going to treat each other with respect,” says Aaron Weems, partner at the law firm Fox Rothchild.
While social media clauses are new, prenuptial agreements are legally binding and the penalty in this case is usually monetary.
“If you acquire this digital media over the course of the marriage, you have a responsibility not to expose it to any third party,” Weems says, “or take that and utilize it on any social media site that going to get immediate exposure.”
Social media prenups are not just for celebrities or high-profile couples.
“It’s for anybody that has a business that’s really built upon and relies upon their personal brand, whether it’s an interior designer or an attorney,” Weems says. “These types of things are important and can result on people losing their jobs and their livelihood.”
Not every couple may find it necessary to have a social prenup in writing — but the conversation may help a couple identify areas of what can or cannot be posted online.
“We don’t live in the age where you can just turn over the photos and burn the negatives and you’ve now prevented yourself from ever having to see something embarrassing exposed,” Weems says. “This digital media travels, its difficult to remove once its on the Internet.”
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 80 percent of divorce attorneys say the involvement of social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise.
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