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Couples protect rights with social media prenups

In this day and age, social media is a point of contention during divorce cases. For any number of reasons, Minnesota couples who are going through a divorce may want to take a break from social media until everything is final. If a spouse does not take a break, he or she may be tempted to make negative or "revenge" posts online about the other spouse. Social media is also an easy way to catch people in lies about their relationship status, travel plans, or spending habits. And all of these issues may persuade a judge during a divorce settlement.

But social media can come into play even before marriage, or a later possible divorce. Many couples are addressing the concern head-on with social media prenups. These agreements can either be written or verbal discussions about what can appropriately be shared online. When couples do not abide by these agreements, there are consequences, many times financial penalties.

Couples are not oblivious. They recognize that what may be a harmless post to one person, can be embarrassing and professionally troublesome for another. And once information is publicly shared on the Internet, it is hard to shake the ramifications. A social media prenup can hopefully protect the privacy rights of those in the relationship.

The agreement can be completed before entering a marriage or after the wedding. It can stand alone orbe part of an overall prenuptial agreement. Generally, the provisions cover nude or embarrassing photos, and anything that the couple believes would impact a person's professional reputation in a bad way. Violations can be punished on a case by case basis and damage is usually limited to a certain amount. And of course, the agreement can also be written to address post-separation posts to prevent those vengeful comments or pictures.

Source: ABC News, "I Love You, You're Perfect, but Watch What You Facebook: Social Media Prenups," Lauren Effron, June 3, 2014

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