With the way couples of The Bachelor franchise have been breaking up recently (see: Jake and Vienna; Jillian and Ed), it's only natural to wonder if a contractual obligation forces the winning pair to stay together for a certain length of time after the show ends. But conspiracy theorists prepare for disappointment — that isn't the case!
According to reality show producing vet Lewis Fenton, the series are protected, but it isn't for a predetermined length of time: "In most cases, the production company or network will build in contractual language protecting the show from willful damage." And what does that entail? "Publicly making out with some new person at a Lakers game," for instance. Basically, as long as the series is airing, the stars shouldn't be photographed doing something they're not supposed to be doing. After that though, everything is fair game!
So that means Jake and Vienna weren't forced to stay together beyond last season. And it's also why Ali has been so tight-lipped about her choice. The last thing she wants is to be sued by ABC for millions of dollars. She doesn't have a job right now — how could she afford that?