Brian D. Perskin & Associates

New Trend Alert: Lifestyle Clauses

A new trend that is sweeping tinsel town allows couples to get everything, and I mean absolutely everything, in writing before they marry. Lifestyle clauses, unlike pre or post-nuptial agreements, dictate how the couple will function within their marriage as compared to just outlining the financial aspects. For instance, some examples of the conditions found within lifestyle clauses include ultimatums regarding adultery and indiscretion, body weight requirements or a schedule of date nights. Lifestyle clauses sound extreme, but having a comprehensive list of marital expectations may help to ease stress or heartache later on.

Facebook creator and newlywed Mark Zuckerberg signed a lifestyle clause before he married Priscilla Chan in 2012. In it, the document states that Zuckerberg agrees to spend at least 100 hours of quality time, including one night, with Chan per week. This may sound odd to some, but given how busy Zuckerberg is running a social media empire, it comes as no surprise that his blushing bride would request mandatory quality time.

These clauses aren't just for celebrities. In an interview given to the New York Daily News, local writer and producer Gregg P. Sullivan details his lifestyle clause with girlfriend Antonia Mantus. The clause, also known as a love contract, allowed the couple to address details and situations that may have caused tensions in the future. For example, Mr. Sullivan made a promise to stay both physically fit and healthy for both himself and his girlfriend.

These love contracts can address a variety of issues or situations, such as annual vacations, financial goals, or infidelity. By laying out every possible conflict before they arise, couples can develop mutually satisfying outcomes and avoid the tension that can arise from conflicts and arguing. For instance, a clause can state that both spouses contribute 10% of their paycheck to a savings account that will fund an end of year trip to Bermuda. This provides a chance for the couple to reach an obtainable goal, thus strengthening their relationship.

It is important to note that while these can be used as guidelines for a relationship, the clauses will not replace a pre or post-nuptial agreement, nor will they be valid in the eyes of the court. If you are interested in drafting or finalizing a pre or post-nuptial agreement, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to assist you in the process to ensure that all possible outcomes are beneficial to both you and your spouse.