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More people considering prenuptial agreements with lifestyle clauses

In recent years, an increasing number of couples have chosen to enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. Although many people in past years considered these sorts of agreements to be of use only for the extremely wealthy, experience has shown that this is simply not the case. Indeed, pre- and postnuptial agreements have become an important means of setting financial expectations for married couples. This is a particularly important consideration today, as many couples wait to get married until they have become settled in their careers.

While financial and property considerations are the primary focus of prenuptial agreements, an increasing number of couples have decided to include "lifestyle clauses." These clauses are used to set expectations with respect to spousal behavior during the marriage. The sorts of things that might be covered by a lifestyle clause include:

  • Which spouse is responsible for certain household chores
  • How many times per year in-laws or other relatives are allowed to visit and for how long
  • Expectations about yearly vacations

By far, however, the most popular lifestyle provision is the infidelity clause. In most cases, these sorts of clauses impose a financial obligation upon a spouse who is unfaithful. For example, according to reports, Michael Douglas will owe his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, several millions of dollars if he is found to have cheated on her. Similarly, Jessica Biel will reportedly collect $500,000 if her husband, Justin Timberlake, is unfaithful.

The use of these sorts of clauses is not confined to celebrities, however. Indeed, for most couples, agreeing to an infidelity clause or any other lifestyle clause can be a way of establishing ground rules for their relationship.

More than anything else, no matter how a couple chooses to structure their pre- or postnuptial agreement, the most important thing is that spouses communicate openly about their needs and expectations. Contrary to what many people may believe, pre- and postnuptial agreements can help preserve marital harmony by allowing spouses to focus on their relationship rather than financial worries if something goes wrong.

If you are considering whether a pre- or postnuptial agreement is right for you, speak to an experienced family law attorney. A family law attorney can provide you information about the process, address your concerns and help you decide how to structure a prenuptial agreement to meet your goals. Schedule a consultation with a family law attorney today to learn more.

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