A “bad boy” or “bad girl” clause is a clause in a prenuptial agreement that requires a party to compensate their spouse should they commit an act of infidelity. These clauses are designed to guide behavior during a marriage. A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into before a marriage in which the parties decide how things will play out if the parties decide to split up and divorce.
These types of clauses are considered “lifestyle” clauses. These types of “lifestyle” clauses are popular among the wealthy and celebrities. In these cases, a wife may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars if a husband strays. Actress Jessica Biel will stand to get $500,000 if her husband and fellow actor, Justin Timberlake, cheats, according to reports regarding their prenup.
Although these clauses are more common among the ultra-rich and celebrities, more and more ordinary people are now considering them as the number of couples entering into prenuptial agreements rises. There is no longer a stigma attached to these agreements and, as such, their popularity is growing.
Why Should I Have a “Bad Boy” Clause in My Prenuptial Agreement?
Florida is a no-fault divorce state. This means fault isn’t generally considered when making decisions about the terms of a divorce. Property is divided and alimony is awarded, regardless of a spouse’s behavior during the marriage.
If you feel strongly about assessing blame to the misbehaving party this clause is a way around no-fault divorce rules. Some states have laws favoring a “no-fault” framework and will not uphold an infidelity clause in a prenuptial agreement. However, these infidelity clauses are still enforceable in Florida.
Will an infidelity clause actually deter cheating? It may or may not. However, these clauses do let the spouse know where you draw the line regarding unacceptable behavior.
Women request infidelity clauses more frequently than men. A future spouse may make this request because of a past suspicion of infidelity. Or, a spouse may want a bad boy clause if they’ve been cheated on before.
How Do “Bad Boy” Clauses Work?
While a prenup can lay out how things will be handled if you and your spouse split up, some things are more straight forward and practical than others. It is not very romantic to have to sit down before your wedding and define infidelity in your prenup and how you will handle it if one of you should stray.
Does flirting count? What about an unapproved visit to a strip club? What type of act will constitute infidelity? What type of proof is needed? If these things are not clearly defined, the purpose of this clause can be rendered meaningless.
Every marriage is unique, what might work for one couple might not work for you and your spouse. If you feel that a prenup will give you peace of mind as you enter into marriage you should definitely consider it or at least get advice from an experienced family law attorney to better explore your options.