Some Virginia couples choose to include ‘lifestyle clauses” as part of their cohabitation or prenuptial agreements. These clauses usually concern nonfinancial matters and are reportedly popular with celebrities and wealthy individuals. Some of the lifestyle clauses that rich and powerful people have allegedly included in their relationship contracts include agreements for spouses to maintain a certain weight, restrictions on gambling and drinking and agreements to spend a certain amount of time together.
Lifestyle clauses are now becoming more popular with the general public as some couples view them as ‘love contracts” that help to keep relationships together. One attorney in New York who maintains a database of 10,000 clients says that about one-third of the relationship agreements that she deals with contain lifestyle clauses.
Despite the trend towards more creative prenuptial agreements, lifestyle clauses are usually not enforceable in court. Some family law attorneys will not include lifestyle clauses in a prenuptial agreement because these clauses can render the entire contract unenforceable. However, a couple that wishes to include lifestyle clauses in a prenuptial agreement can also include an additional clause expressly stating that the remainder of the contract will remain valid even if individual clauses are not enforceable.
Although lifestyle clauses may not be enforceable in most cases, a prenuptial agreement can still be personalized to a couple’s unique circumstances. For example, many prenuptial agreements include clauses about a spouse’s ownership of a business or other assets that predated the marriage. A family law attorney may be able to assist a person who would like to create a valid and binding agreement.