Can A Morality Clause Prevent Me From Dating?

morality clauseQuestion:

I am going through a divorce and recently went through mediation. She drew up a document stating I can’t have any other women around our children (specifically my girlfriend) unless I get married.

This basically makes dating impossible for me. Is she able to do this?

Answer:

I am not licensed to practice in your state and cannot provide you legal advice. However, I can give general tips regarding your situation based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Based on the information you have provided, it sounds as though the agreement reached at mediation between you and your wife contains what is commonly referred to as a morality clause or cohabitation clause.

In my home jurisdiction of Oklahoma and all across the country, these clauses have become increasingly popular. Typically, the clause prevents either party from having a member of the opposite sex, other than a family member or spouse, stay overnight while that parent has custody of the child.

Many times, clients want these clauses added to their decree if they are single and know or have a belief that the other party is in a relationship with another person. However, in most cases, these clauses are added to custodial decrees by agreement and only in rare cases will a judge actually order them to be included without the consent of both parties.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Oklahoma divorce lawyer Colby Pearce, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk, and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

One comment on “Can A Morality Clause Prevent Me From Dating?

    I didn’t know these were becoming common, but I added a similar clause to our agreement because studies clearly show that children are at much higher risk of harm or death from abuse from a non-related adult living in the same house, especially a co-habitating romantic partner. I made sure to lead the clause with that reason in case she wanted to contest it after the fact.

    Her lawyer didn’t like it and said a judge would never agree to put something like that in the settlement. My response was if she wanted the agreement to be what a judge would do, then she needed to take it to court instead of asking me to work it out “amicably”. It would seem the clause will stay.

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