If you’re getting a divorce, you’ll probably run into a lot of terms that you’ve never heard before. This is especially true if you live in Texas, where divorce cases can work differently than in many other states. Here in Texas, divorce agreements can come with something called a “morality clause.” What is a morality clause, and how can it impact your divorce case? Let’s take a closer look.
When a divorce decree includes a morality clause, it generally means that neither party may have romantic partners spend the night while the children are present. The idea is to keep the children’s home life as stable as possible. When morality clauses are followed, children don’t have to share their homes with one stranger after the next. They can count on the same people being in their home, no matter who their parents may date. Morality clauses, in theory, keep children from dealing with any extra stress and uncertainty.
When It Works
Divorcing parents should think deeply and consider all possible scenarios before they insist on a morality clause. There are some situations when a morality clause can work, and then there are some when a morality clause causes more harm than good.
When does a morality clause work? It can work if both parties agree that it’s in the children’s best interests. Morality clauses can work when they’re used for their intended purpose of protecting the children. You might also consider seeking a morality clause if your spouse is likely to jump into the dating world quickly.
When A Morality Clause Doesn’t Work
There are many scenarios in which a morality clause will not work. Remember that morality clauses are meant to protect children from witnessing short-term flings. In practice, though, they also prevent stable, long-term partners from spending the night, too. Even if one parent dates their partner for several years, the only way this person could legally stay overnight is if they got married. As you can imagine, this clause disproportionately affects the parent who has primary custody of the children. If you’re thinking about a morality clause, the key is to think long term. Ask yourself how the clause could impact your family for several years in the future.
Seek Legal Counsel
If you want advice about morality clauses or if your spouse wants a morality clause, the best thing you can do is seek legal counsel. These clauses can get complicated, so it’s best to talk to an attorney who knows Texas law. Do you need legal counsel? Contact us at Moran Law. We’d be happy to offer insight into your specific case.