Pre-Nuptial Agreements with “Lifestyle” Clauses

couple

coupleA pre-nuptial agreement is a common method of making sure certain things in life stay the way you want if your marriage ends in divorce.  

We discussed their importance in a previous blog post you can read here.

Typically, a pre-nup deals with marital assets. Since divorce is such a painful and emotional legal process, some couples are choosing to enter into pre-nuptial agreements that deal with more than just marital assets.

In a past post we told you about prenuptial agreements with social media clauses in them. One spouse would dictate what the other could put on social media during and after the marriage. You can read all about that here.

Now some couples are including “lifestyle” clauses in their prenuptial agreement. These are clauses designed to uphold and maintain a certain way of life even if the marriage ends in divorce.

The Tom Cruise Effect on Divorces

This issue was made famous in 2017 when Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx were seen holding hands on the beach in Malibu. It was reported that the couple had been dating for five years, but this was the first time they were seen together in public.

The alleged reason? Apparently, Tom Cruise had a clause in his divorce settlement prohibiting her from publicly dating another man after their divorce for certain period of time.

It would be easy to think this stipulation is one of those strange “only see it in Hollywood” type issues. But many divorce lawyers across the country are seeing more of these lifestyle clauses in prenuptial agreements.

One lawyer said he is seen provisions penalizing everything from cursing to weight gain.

Most prenuptial agreements that contain lifestyle clauses address more routine matters. They usually include requirements that children born from the marriage be raised to a certain country or state. They sometimes require the children to be raised a certain religion.

But these lifestyle pre-nups can get stranger than that. They can dictate what can happen during the marriage, and who can have power over the couple or their children.

Some lawyers have seen clauses limiting how often the mother-in-law can visit. That may not go over well. Some lawyers even say they have seen prenuptial clauses allowing cheating in certain circumstances. The partners may outline exactly how often and with whom they are allowed to cheat.

Enforcing Lifestyle Pre-Nup Clauses

The fact is that prenuptial agreements with some of these crazier demands may be hard to enforce, at least in a Maryland divorce.

During the marriage, there is no good way of enforcing these contractual clauses. After a marriage, it is doubtful that a Maryland court would enforce many of these whacky or intrusive lifestyle prenuptials clauses.

The real purpose of a clause like this would be to punish the spouse and gain leverage in divorce negotiations. It would be one more weapon to be used against the other spouse during the divorce. It would be an easy thing to trade away in order to get something more reasonable, like visitation, child custody, or reduced alimony.

Conclusion & Next Steps

Some of these lifestyle clauses may not be practical in a Maryland divorce case. Maybe they fly better in Hollywood.

In any event, there are many good and valid reasons to get a prenuptial agreement. You can read more about them here. If you do feel like you need a prenuptial agreement, you should contact us for a consultation.

Want to know more? Discover what you need to know about divorce in Maryland. Click here to see our Free Legal Guide to Divorce and get answers to your questions today.

Know your options. Be informed. Protect yourself. 

Need a divorce attorney? Please contact us for a consultation today if you need an experienced divorce lawyer for your Maryland divorce case.

Like our blog? Subscribe to our email newsletter and stay informed!

couple

About Southern Maryland Law

 

Andrews, Bongar, Gormley & Clagett is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Southern Maryland. We have been serving clients here for over 50 years. 

 

We have more attorneys and a larger staff than most other local law firms, so we can handle a wider variety of legal matters. Each attorney concentrates his or her practice in a few key areas, so you can be assured of the expertise you need.

 

But we are not so big that we forget about personal service! Your legal matter is unique, and requires a personalized approach. We will always remember that. If you have a legal issue, contact us today to schedule your consultation.