Did you know that nearly 80% of HelloPrenup’s users want to keep their prenups private? In today’s digital world, it’s no wonder you may be contemplating how to keep your prenup agreement private. Everything is on the internet, and no one’s information is safe anymore! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but you get the picture. If keeping your prenup agreement private is something that is important to you, do not worry; there are a few ways you can do this, namely through confidentiality clauses, social image clauses, and keeping your prenup physically secure. Keep reading to learn more!
Why would you want to keep your prenup private?
There are a bunch of reasons why someone may want to keep their prenup private. For starters, prenups contain a ton of sensitive information, including in-depth financial information, such as the value of real estate, bank accounts, debt, etc. Prenups also contain other data like names, addresses, workplaces, and personal choices on sensitive topics like embryos, alimony, insurance, and death.
Some clauses in the prenup may be sensitive to some people. For instance, if there is an infidelity clause, it may be embarrassing for that information to be public. There may also be information about the division of assets or alimony that may not be necessarily embarrassing but simply not something you want to be public, especially if you are a private person.
If someone owns a business or is involved in a family business, the prenup may include in-depth financial information about the business’ assets and liabilities. As a C-suite, founder, or owner of a business, you most likely don’t want this type of business information leaking.
Maybe you are in the public eye or have some type of public venture, and you really don’t want even the existence of your prenup to leak. Maybe you’re in business with your future spouse, and you don’t want the word to get out that you two have a prenup because you believe it could be damaging to your relationship’s reputation.
Perhaps you’re just a private person in general and don’t like people knowing your business! That is a totally valid and legitimate reason, as well. Whatever the motive behind keeping your prenup private is, don’t worry; we’ve got your back to help you understand the ways you can keep it private.
What is a prenup?
Let’s back it up a bit. First, what is a prenup? A prenuptial agreement (i.e., a prenup) is a contract made between future spouses who are about to get married. The prenup must be executed before the wedding day, not afterward. Prenups cover topics such as alimony (i.e., spousal support or maintenance), debt allocation, and division of property. Prenups may also include non-financial topics, like pet ownership, confidentiality (more on this later), infidelity, and more. It’s a common misconception that prenups only cover matters in a divorce. Obligations both during the marriage and in the event of the divorce can be covered in a prenup!
How do prenups work?
Prenups are contracts, and like any good contract, they bind the parties to certain terms. In other words, whatever the spouses sign off on, they are bound to do in the event of a divorce and even during marriage, too. For example, let’s say you waive alimony in your prenup. Years later, you get a divorce and change your mind; you actually do want alimony. Well, you’re sort of SOL. If your prenup is valid and enforceable, then you will be bound to the terms you agreed to years prior.
In the event that you do get a divorce, and you need to invoke your prenup, you can do so in one of two ways: (1) privately, between you and your spouse, or (2) ask the court to enforce it if one person is disputing the prenup. If the prenup is valid and enforceable, the court will mandate that the terms of the agreement are followed by each spouse.
If you clicked on this article, you’re likely wondering how you can keep your prenup private. The number one way you can do that (legally) is by including a confidentiality clause in your prenup. A confidentiality clause basically restricts you and your partner from divulging private information to anyone, including information about the prenuptial agreement. Typically, these clauses are in place indefinitely, even after the divorce is finalized. So even years after you’ve divorced and gone your separate ways, your ex-spouse should still be keeping your information private. If they ever spill the beans on private information, you may have a breach of contract claim (depending on the circumstances).
Social image clauses
Along the same vein of confidentiality clauses is the social image clause. This clause is similar to the confidentiality clause because it prevents one spouse from divulging negative information about their partner on social media, which could include information about the prenup. This clause also remains in effect indefinitely–even after you two have parted ways and started new relationships.
What happens if your spouse posts something on social media that is disrespectful or humiliating? Maybe this post also somehow includes the terms of your prenup. Depending on the language of your social image clause, your partner’s post could cost them a lot of money. Some social image clauses have a penalty for violation. For example, you might include in your prenup that if either spouse posts disrespectful or humiliating content about the other, the person who made the post will be required to pay the other person $20,000 (or insert any other dollar amount that you want).
There’s also the physical aspect of keeping your prenup private. If you keep it stored in a clear glass frame and hang it up in your office, it’s not super private. Or if you have it sitting in a desk drawer in your house, someone may stumble upon it. Our suggestion is to keep your prenup in a safe or somewhere else that locks. This is your best bet at keeping your prenup secure.
Remember, you need to have three original copies: one for you, one for your spouse, and one for a joint location, and also an electronic copy. You should also instruct your spouse to safe keep their original copy somewhere so as to keep it private, as well. For the electronic copy, keep it somewhere on your computer that’s safe and secured by a password.
Communicate your wishes to your partner
An obvious but important point to make is communicating your wishes to your partner. Not everyone cares to keep their prenup private (although a vast majority of HelloPrenup users do!). But if your partner is one of those people who doesn’t care much about keeping the prenup private, they may feel free to discuss their prenup with anyone who will listen! Heck, they’re proud of it!
Sitting down with your partner to explain to them why you want to keep the prenup private and how important it is to you is a good way to start off the conversation. You should also mention how you’re considering adding a confidentiality clause and social image clause to give you some peace of mind. Gauge their temperature on the subject and take it from there!
The Bottom Line
There are legal ways you can keep your prenup private (confidentiality clause and social image clause). On top of that, you can make sure to communicate your wishes to your partner and keep the prenup in a safe and secure place. Whatever your reasoning for keeping your prenup private is, you should be able to get some peace of mind knowing that there are simple and straightforward things you can do to maintain your privacy.
HelloPrenup can help you add these privacy-inducing clauses, which you can choose to add (or not add) to your prenup with our interactive platform. Want to learn more about how it works?
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]