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Ann Margaret Carrozza Headshot

Love Contract for the President of France?

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Congratulations to the newly public couple, Francois Hollande and Julie Gayet. I have two pieces of advice for Ms Gayet: Don't get too comfortable and do get a Love Contract.

While it is true that no legal document can keep one's partner from straying, a Love Contract can most assuredly protect Ms. Gayet from the humiliating situation that the President's soon to be former partner, Valerie Trierweiller is enduring on the world stage.

A Love Contract is a legal document akin to a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in that it deals with who gets what in the event of a breakup. It goes far beyond this, however, and can be used as a blueprint or mission statement for the relationship. Ideally, it will reflect the couple's fitness, philanthropic, social, romantic and financial aspirations. It is also much more flexible because the couple does not have to be married in order to have one. Of potential importance to Ms. Gayet are the bad behavior sanctions that can be crafted into the document.

When I am working with a couple and one or both has a history of straying, I recommend that the Love Contract contain infidelity sanctions. Many celebrities have these clauses. The sanctions are usually monetary. Again, you probably can't prevent your partner from cheating if he or she is inclined to do so. However, you can and should be compensated if it does occur.

I also recommend that post-breakup living arrangements be embodied in the Love Contract. This is especially important when the relationship abode is owned or leased by one of the parties individually. For anyone who finds themselves living with their lover in a presidential palace, without having won an election, it should be clear who will be on the curb come breakup. This provision could have saved Ms. Trierweiller from the present uncertainty over where she will live.

The Love Contract process will require frank discussions and some introspection. This will likely strengthen the relationship going forward.

Ann Margaret Carrozza is a practicing attorney who also served as a New York State Assemblywoman. She is a regular legal contributor to TV and print media outlets.