Prenuptial agreements and lifestyle clauses: What you should know

Posted by David Jacks | Nov 23, 2015

On behalf of The Jacks Law Group posted in prenuptial agreements on Monday, May 11, 2015.

Earlier this month, we wrote about the growing popularity and necessity of prenuptial agreements. Americans are entering into first marriages, on average, a few years older than they did even 20 to 30 years ago. As such, each spouse is more likely to have acquired their own assets which they naturally want to protect in case of divorce.

As we discussed in our last post on the subject, prenuptial agreements can force couples to have some frank and important discussions about money. Being financially compatible is often cited as a critical component of marital success. But prenups can also be used to discuss and set other marital expectations. So-called “lifestyle clauses” are increasingly being included in prenuptial agreements – sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

Lifestyle clauses can cover a variety of expectations that spouses have for one another during the marriage, and they are sometimes quirky. As just one example, an Italian man obsessed with football (the kind that we Americans call soccer) included a clause in his prenuptial agreement when he entered into his second marriage in 1997. It says that he gets to watch his favorite team play whenever he wants to.

At first, the wife-to-be was a little put off by the proposed agreement. But she was able to negotiate for something in return. His wife says “I made him agree that in exchange he would have to take me to the theatre or a concert at least once a month.” The two have been happily married for 18 years.

Other couples include lifestyle clauses that are arguably distasteful. Some men, for instance, have insisted that their wives are not allowed to gain more than a certain amount of weight without incurring some sort of penalty or loss of some benefit in divorce.

Then there are provisions that, strictly speaking, may not be necessary or appropriate for a prenuptial agreement. Some couples set rules for each other regarding infidelity – including proposed fines and other punishments.

A prenuptial agreement allows couples to discuss and manage expectations, understand one another better and create predictable contingency plans in case of divorce. Lifestyle clauses may be included, but not all clauses will be enforceable. When drafting the prenuptial agreement, it is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Irish Mirror, “Fan persuaded wife-to-be to sign prenuptial agreement so he could watch football whenever he wanted,” Liam Corless, April 23, 2015

About the Author

David Jacks

David Jacks has over a decade of legal experience and he is a lifetime resident of Las Vegas and a veteran of the United States Army. After the completion of his service in the military, Jacks began working as a construction superintendent in Las Vegas during a major period of growth for the city.

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