For a number of reasons, many Long Islanders choose to include confidentiality clauses in their prenuptial agreements. This is an important issue, particularly when there is a high net-worth or risk or negative publicity involved in the relationship. Anyone entering into a prenuptial agreement should consider adding these clauses if they wish to ensure their privacy in the event of divorce.
Confidentiality Clauses Can be Included in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements on Long Island
Prenuptial agreements are contracts between two people entering into a marriage that are used to govern the terms of a divorce should one occur in the future. Usually, these agreements spell out things like how assets will be divided and how much spousal support will be paid. In addition, they can include confidentiality clauses that require each spouse to keep marital information private in the event of divorce. They prevent disclosure of harmful personal or financial information that can be used to harm a spouse down the line.
Keeping Divorces Civil
When it comes to divorce, confidentiality clauses can keep things more civil as spouses are deterred from sharing information out of anger and spite. The consequences of violating a confidentiality clause could include monetary penalties from thousands to millions, but will ultimately depend on the terms of the agreement itself.
One such clause that was upheld in New York required that written consent from the other spouse be obtained prior to “publish(ing) directly or indirectly any diary, memoir, letter, story, photograph, interview, article, essay, account, or description of any kind whatsoever” of the marriage or the spouse’s personal, business, or financial matters. It also prohibited that spouse from assisting others in obtaining this information. This comprehensive clause can keep private details from being blown up in the public or even in some social circles, such as in social media.
Not Just for Traditional Marriages
Confidentiality clauses can be used not only in marital agreements but also in any type of relationship such as domestic partnerships or even dating relationships. Because of the explosion of social media in recent years, privacy has become a great concern. It is easy to see how privacy violations can lead to ended careers and destroyed relationships when sensitive private information is made public.
Confidentiality Agreements are Often Effective
We have seen the effects of confidentiality clauses play out in the public sphere, particularly in the current presidential election. It’s no secret that many celebrities, especially the very wealthy and/or controversial, utilize these provisions. Various news outlets have recently mentioned the confidentiality clauses that bind Donald Trump’s former wives and commented that those contracts may be the reason that they have not come forward to comment on his campaign for president. His ex-wives must balance the public interest in the information against their own financial and emotional well-being, while also considering whether any information revealed would even have an effect on public opinion at this point in the race.
Confidentiality Agreements Require Experienced Counsel
If you have a question about a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, or you are concerned about your spouse or partner’s ability to reveal certain information, you should speak to a qualified matrimonial attorney about the possibility of a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement that would address your concerns.
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