Under Texas law, spouses can add a morality clause to their divorce decree.
The clause basically prohibits a party or parties from allowing anyone they are romantically involved with to remain overnight while the party is in possession of the child.
Example of a Texas Morality Clause
An example of a morality agreement in a Texas divorce is contained in the court case Interest of W.B.B. The clause in this case stated:
“IT IS ORDERED AND DECREED that (Father) and (Mother) are mutually enjoined from allowing anyone with whom the party is romantically involved, to remain over night (sic) with that party while that party is in possession of the child. Overnight is defined from 10:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m….”
In this particular case, the couple added exceptions to the order. If a party remarried or the child turned eight years old, the clause would expire.
The case became complicated due to the ambiguity of the order. The father remarried but alleged that the order was still in force and the mother was in violation because she had a romantic partner staying overnight. The mother eventually married the partner.
The father, who was the primary custodian, entered motions to have the mother jailed and fined. The mother’s attorney argued that the father’s motions were based on his hatred of the mother and were a form of harassment and that the order was unclear and applied to both parties and not just the mother. The argument alleged that the order had expired when the father married.
The court ruled in the mother’s favor except for one aspect of the case where she requested that the court make the father pay $5,000 to cover her attorney fees. The fees payment was denied.
Get Legal help
If you want to discuss adding a morality clause to your divorce agreement, our attorneys are glad to answer your questions and provide legal guidance.
C.E. Borman & Associates is a law firm that helps people with estate planning, probate, family law, divorce and other related issues.