Lifestyle clause may be unenforceable, but may still have a place

When people in Mechanicsburg decide to get married, they aren’t thinking about the possibility of divorce. And why should they? They have to try as hard as they can to make their marriages work. Even if they don’t, at least they can say they tried. This is true even if the couple decides to get a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are more about protecting assets and keeping the marriage on track than it is about planning for divorce.

Of course, prenuptial agreements have been used successfully to divide marital assets, separate out individuals’ assets and even determine how alimony will be paid out, but there are features called “lifestyle clauses” that are also becoming more popular. These clauses may not always be enforceable, but many within the family law field believe they can even help prevent cheating.

A lifestyle clause provides rules and guidance over nonmonetary assets, like vacations or fidelity. By contracting that neither individual can cheat and backing that up with a financial penalty provides a good incentive not to stray. Even if the clause isn’t enforceable, the fact that the clause was added in the first place means that the couple has talked about fidelity, its importance and some of the other things they value in a marriage. That kind of open communication prior to marriage may help prevent cheating once the rings are on their fingers.

Of course, for those people who are more concerned about protecting an individually held business or ensuring children from a prior marriage are financially secure, a more traditional prenuptial agreement may be best.

Source: Forbes, “Can A Prenup Or A Postnup With An Infidelity Clause Deter A Husband From Cheating?” Jeff Landers, March 13, 2014