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Can infidelity clauses actually deter cheating?

If you are considering a prenuptial agreement as part of your marriage, chances are it is to protect assets or income from being misclassified as marital property. However, a growing number of spouses-to-be are including “lifestyle” clauses to define roles in their marriages and to set standards for conduct.

One of the most popular clauses are “infidelity” clauses. The name speaks for itself; essentially, a spouse who cheats in the marriage may be liable for paying a certain amount to the other spouse as a penalty, in addition to ending the marriage. Perhaps this is another example of everyday people taking cues from celebrities. A recent Forbes report highlighted the rumored infidelity clause in Jessical Biel and Justin Timberlake’s prenup that calls for him to pay Biel $500,000 if he cheats.

Besides questions about whether these clauses are enforceable, it is worth asking if infidelity clauses are actually effective in curbing cheating. According to Forbes, they could actually work. Including such a clause makes a party’s feelings known about cheating and sets expectations for what can happen if it occurs. It also may help couples talk about what they want out of the marriage so that fewer surprises come about when times get tough.

If you are presented with an infidelity clause in a prenuptial agreement, it is prudent to discuss it with an experienced family law attorney. Not only is it important to understand the implications behind it, you can also learn more about whether it would be enforceable in a Nevada court. 

Source: Forbes.com “Can a prenups or postnup with an infidelity clause deter a husband from cheating,” Jeff Landers, Mar. 13, 2014

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