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How do lifestyle clauses work in prenuptial agreements?

When a couple decides to get married, the prospect of divorce may be the last thing on their minds. Nevertheless, divorce is a real possibility in many cases, and many couples consider a prenuptial agreement in case things don't work out. These agreements and the choice of clauses included within them can have a direct impact on the outcome of a divorce settlement.

Infidelity clauses have become an increasingly common feature in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. These clauses fall into the category of lifestyle clauses, which generally do not address matters of dividing marital assets. However, a spouse’s failure to comply with an infidelity clause could lead to a financial penalty.

Essentially, in Missouri, a prenuptial agreement functions as an enhancement in addition to the state laws governing divorce. Abiding spouses who want to ensure that they maintain certain standards and follow certain rules may be especially interested in lifestyle clauses.

However, one issue to consider with these clauses is the difficulty in proving whether one spouse has breached the agreement. After all, the range of lifestyle stipulations is broad -- ranging from keeping a clean house to being faithful -- and evidence of failing to meet either of these obligations is often debatable.

Still, soon-to-be spouses in Missouri may like the idea of lifestyle clauses as deterrents to unwanted behavior. Clarifying your wishes with your spouse could actually get you both on the same page.

If you want to learn more about divorce law and marital assets in Missouri, feel free to stop by our family law website.

Source: Forbes, "Can A Prenup Or A Postnup With An Infidelity Clause Deter A Husband From Cheating?" Jeff Landers, March 13, 2014

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