Baby pictures, engagement announcements and funny cartoons tend to fill up social network web sites such as Facebook. Now, a recent study claims that participating in these kinds of social network sites can lead couples in Illinois and across the country down the path of divorce. In an ever-increasing digital world where having a social network page might appear as common as holding a valid driver’s license, protecting an individual’s best interest might include a prenuptial agreement.

Among the reasons listed for social network contributing to a divorce was the ability to resume communication with an ex. Most social networking sites allow for private messaging between users, which can make carrying on a secondary relationship relatively easy. Whether a marriage comes to an end due to the use of social media or a myriad of other reasons, having a prior foundation for the distribution of assets can help ease the divorce process.

Assets that belonged to either party before marriage and assets that were obtained during the course of the marriage are both common topics that a prenuptial agreement can address. Restrictions can even be placed around things like alimony, such as the forfeiture of such if the party that would have received it engaged in something like drug use or an affair. In some instances, couples may even find it appropriate to include the use of social network web sites in their prenuptial agreement.

In the event of a divorce, having certain assets or relevant information already determined can be more than a time saver — it may help protect either party’s financial interests. However, it should be noted that prenups are not entirely infallible and may be challenged. For instance, it is important to ensure that a prenuptial agreement is signed in a timely manner before the wedding and not immediately prior to the event, as this may give more of a footing to an Illinois individual who wishes to challenge his or her prenup.

Source: CBS News, “Divorce, social networks and prenups“, Ray Martin, July 10, 2014