With all the rumors about Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson’s engagement, I am constantly being asked whether Tony (or any man or woman) can insist that a clause be inserted in a prenuptial agreement about a spouse maintaining a certain weight. So I thought I would end all the late night bar room bets and give you the scoop.
A prenuptial agreement, if drafted properly, is meant to be a contract between two consenting adults. A prenuptial agreement can serve many purposes, such as protecting assets, determining how assets and liabilities will be distributed in a divorce, protecting how one’s estate is distributed in the event of death and the avoidance of spending substantial sums of money in the event of a divorce action.
Celebrities are known for having what is known as “lifestyle clauses” inserted in their prenuptial agreements. Lifestyle clauses or personal rights clauses may be included in a prenuptial agreement as long as they do not violate public policy or any statutes which impose a criminal penalty. By way of example, Michael Douglas has reportedly agreed to pay Catherine Zeta Jones a paltry sum of five (5) million dollars in the event he cheats on her during the marriage.
Likewise, Tony may include a lifestyle clause which could very well include penalties for how much weight Jessica may gain during the marriage. Tony may insert what I have named the “porker clause” in his prenuptial agreement. The “porker clause” could state that Jessica cannot weigh more than 135 lbs. during the marriage and if she does so, she must give Tony $500,000 of her separate property for each pound she gains over 135 lbs.
That being said, the enforcement of a lifestyle clause such as this one may be problematic if not drafted with detail and expertise. If Jessica decides to agree to such a provision, Jessica’s lawyer would need to make sure to account for any and all defenses to such a provision or it could result in more litigation in the long run. Provisions like this require the lawyer to foresee exceptions, such as having a medical condition that causes weight gain, pregnancy, depression, medications, and a myriad of other provisos which would allow Jess to launch an appropriate defense, if necessary.
The discussions surrounding a prenuptial agreement are eye opening, to say the least. This type of communication really force partners to discuss those uncomfortable topics purposely avoided during that courting stage. Unfortunately or fortunately, these are the very discussions that may also assist with revelation of the type of person you are about to marry. Namely, if your fiancé wants that weight gain clause inserted in your prenuptial agreement, rest assured, he or she is not marrying you for you for love and really does not value your brains or personality. If you disagree, then you found “thee one” and you deserve each other.