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Prenuptial agreements now address lifestyle behavior

In Texas and elsewhere, prenuptial agreements are usually drafted with the intent of avoiding disputes over divorce legal issues such as alimony and property division. More recently, these agreements have addressed more unique issues and even lifestyle behavior during marriage.

Across the United States, agreements have been drafted with terms that have governed matters on child rearing such as raising the couple's children in a specified country or under a designated religion. More agreements have special provisions restricting the time that a co-parent can spend on the Internet.

One spouse limited her soon-to-be husband's football viewing to one television game per month. The number of visits from a spouse's mother-in-law were restricted in another agreement.

More bizarre provisions have penalized the use of profanity with a fine of $100 for each utterance of certain words. Another eliminated spousal support if a woman gained 25 pounds in wedding weight.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes supposedly had a settlement agreement for their divorce that banned dating after their divorce for a certain period. However, she is believed to have dated Jamie Foxx for five years.

These clauses restricting public dating are usually more common in celebrity relationships. Some public figures have more clout with negotiating for this term because of their wealth and their ability to enforce this clause.

Other terms, according to a divorce lawyer for celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Hale Berry, are difficult to enforce during marriage but may be used to penalize a spouse after divorce. These include agreement clauses governing whether either spouse can have romantic relationships outside the marriage or rules dictating physical appearance.

More common prenuptial agreements, however, may be effective to address more typical divorce legal issues if that need arises. Each partner should have their own attorney to advise them on their rights and to help draft a legally-valid agreement.

Source: MarketWatch, "Prenuptial agreements contain more bizarre 'lifestyle' clauses," Kari Paul, Sept. 9, 2017

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