Can an infidelity clause be enforceable in a prenup?

On behalf of Morna Challoner of Challoner Law posted in High Asset Divorce on Friday, June 16, 2017.

Celebrity prenuptial agreements tend to make news because of the different (and odd) provisions that couples hold each other to. It is not surprising to find clauses requiring a spouse to remain at a certain weight, or prohibiting in-laws and friends from staying in the home for more than a week at a time. As prenuptial agreements evolve, more are including what referred to as “lifestyle” clauses.

A common example of such a clause is an “infidelity” section. Essentially, a cheating spouse may be subject to a financial penalty if he or she strays from the marriage. One example is the cheating clause rumored to be in the prenuptial agreement established between Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. According to Forbes magazine, Timberlake would have to shell out $500,000 if he cheats.

Like many clauses in celebrity prenuptial agreements, the infidelity clause may make its way into prenup for everyday people. Indeed, no one wants to face the prospect of being cheated on, and an infidelity clause can help soon-to-be married couples talk openly about what would happen if the relationship gets complicated. While it may sound good while negotiating the agreement, it is important to understand whether such a clause is actually enforceable.

Of course, there is no clear cut answer, but courts generally look to a number of factors to ascertain whether the couple actually intended to include an infidelity clause and hold each other accountable. They include, but are not limited to, whether each party had legal counsel while negotiating the agreement, and whether either party signed it under duress.

If you have additional questions regarding prenuptial agreements, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

2020-03-02T23:11:08+00:00Categories: Blog, High Asset Divorce|Tags: |

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