The Contractual Freedom to Prohibit Football
This buzzworthy newstory about celebrity pre-nups has a few examples of bizarre clauses that couples have agreed to before marriage:
• “Limiting the wife’s weight to 120 pounds or she must relinquish $100,000 of her separate property.”
• “Requiring a husband to pay $10,000 each time he is rude to his wife’s parents.”
• “Mandatory sexual positions”, “No mother-in-law sleepovers.” “Only one football game per Sunday.”
Attorneys quoted in the article suggest that all such provision are
“legal unless you’re dealing with custody of children or child support.” This might be right, but since these agreements are almost never evaluated in written opinions (the parties usually hired retired judges to ensure privacy) I’m not sure whether I’d be so definite. Of course it isn’t my area of law, but I usually teach my contract class that there are limits – public policy and otherwise – to what you can contract to, even in the pre-nup context. The one that really gets me here, of course, is “one football game per Sunday.” What kind of judge would enforce that kind of tyranny?
(Hat Tip: Huffington).