We live in a digital age where much of an individual’s private and public business is conducted using online accounts and communicated via text messages and emails. Most Minnesota residents have likely heard about or have experienced first-hand cases in which the discovery of communication related to sensitive information via online or mobile technology has had negative consequences.
In recent years, there have been numerous wealthy or famous individuals who have had secrets related to infidelity, personal spending habits and questionable business dealings publically aired in the wake of a divorce. In many cases, an ex-spouse is responsible for the discovery and public disclosure of what often proves to be embarrassing and damning information.
As a means to protect information that is deemed as sensitive and private in nature, a growing number of couples are adding what’s known as a digital privacy clause to either a prenuptial and post-nuptial agreement. Generally a digital privacy clause prevents a spouse or ex-spouse from disclosing any information or evidence discovered on a spouse’s computer or cellphone.
For individuals who hold public office or executive positions, it’s a smart choice to add a digital privacy clause to a prenuptial agreement. In cases where information related to digital communications is used as evidence in divorce proceedings, an individual may suffer harm financially, professionally and personally. In some cases, the disclosure of this type of personal digital information has resulted in the effective ruin of an individual’s future political or business aspirations.
Regardless of wealth or status, most Minnesotans readily communicate a wide variety of information via text message and email. For many, the inclusion of a digital privacy clause to a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement makes sense and can prevent future problems in the event of a divorce.
Source: The Daily Beast, “Does Your Marriage Need a Digital Privacy Clause?,” Keli Goff, April 17, 2014