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Prenuptial agreements have been around for a long time. They are used to separate each party’s finances so that not everything gets lumped into marital assets during the duration of the marriage. For example, a prenuptial agreement could have a clause that all of the high earning spouse’s salary during the marriage be considered non-marital assets. Prenuptial agreements are also used to protect one spouse from the other’s horrible debt, as well as many other financial reasons. Lifestyle clauses within pre- and postnuptial agreements are entirely different.
A lifestyle clause is a pre or postnuptial agreement between spouses about the behavior of one or both during the marriage, typically relating to in-laws, religion, and other joint decisions such as child raising. Some spouses are putting in lifestyle clauses within their pre- and postnuptials that limits the other spouse’s weight, limits time spent with in-laws, or limits the number of days that in-laws can stay in the couple’s home. Other lifestyle clauses are used to deter infidelity, set up rules regarding a child’s religious upbringing or education, or who gets the family pet if it comes to divorce. None of these lifestyle clauses discuss money, aside from the financial penalties that breaking the rules may incur.
The predominant way that lifestyle clauses are used to hold each spouse accountable, at least for wealthy married couples, is with the use of financial penalties. For example, if a husband gained 10 pounds, the prenuptial agreement may require him to pay his wife $1,000 for each pound gained, coming to $10,000. Infidelity could be fined at $500,000, as some reported clauses mandate.
Many lifestyle clauses are not upheld in court due to there not being a uniform law regarding lifestyle clauses. However, they may act as a deterrent for certain behaviors nonetheless, which is why more couples are incorporating them into their pre and postnuptial agreements.
Whether you need assistance with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or you have questions regarding the legality of an agreement already signed, an attorney can help you. Call the skilled Hinsdale family law attorneys of the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.