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Morality Clause Question

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Sapper, Sep 1, 2017.

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  1. Sapper

    Sapper Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Kansas
    My ex asked for a Morality Clause be placed into the decree which I signed, no issue.

    It states,
    The parties further agree than neither party shall cohabit in a marriage-like
    relationship while the children remain minors and in the home.

    The question I have is, does this apply only to primary residence or does it extend to other things like vacations, trips etc where she and her new boyfriend occupy the same room while my kids and his kids in another? or all in the same room. To what extent does this apply? I live in Kansas, she now lives in Missouri. I retain jurisdiction since I still live in the county where the divorce was granted. I just need to know what the parameters are for this.

    I personally don't care what she does when the kids are with me, but I don't want to run afoul of a court order.

    Thank you.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Adhere to the letter and spirit of the clause, and you won't run afoul of it.

    If you agree to not cohabiting when in your home, why on earth do you think being in a cramped hotel room with your children should be treated any differently?

    The clause means don't cohabit around your children.

    Interpret it literally and liberally, and you'll be just fine.
     
  3. Sapper

    Sapper Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I agree totally, which I have no issue supporting. This was her wish to include it and now she wants to do what she wants when she wants.

    She also states that she'll be in one room with BF and all 4 boys will be together in another...

    That's why I asked whether it extended to other "homes" like hotels, tents, campers, whatever else one can think of. I think it does but she doesn't. She gets caught up on "as man and wife" in her home so it somehow doesn't apply.

    I personally don't want to be held in contempt of court.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Well...the prohibition is against "cohabit[ing] in a marriage-like relationship," which is a bit redundant since to "cohabit" means "to live together as if married, usually without legal or religious sanction" or "to live together in an intimate relationship." While the provision you quoted does not contain any geographic limitation, it is not apparent to me how they could "live together" anywhere other in their primary residence. Right?

    Sharing a room on a vacation is not cohabiting.

    One thing to keep in mind is that most judges do not want to get involved in enforcing morality, although you're in a state that is probably on the conservative side of things. Either way, I think any court is going to construe a "morality clause" extremely narrowly.
     
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  5. Sapper

    Sapper Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I appreciate that. This is a two-way street so I want to know what I (or we) can and can't do from a legal standpoint. The kids are already emotionally distressed to this new situation as it is.

    The presiding judge in this case pretty much goes by the book on granting divorce settlements but I can't seem to find any precedent anywhere.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can ONLY be held in contempt of court for what you do, or fail to do.

    I rarely get involved domestic relations matters as an attorney.

    Be the best father you can be, let others succumb to all manner of debauchery and lives of ill repute.

    One day, even if only one of your children praises you for a life devoid of immoral behavior, you'll smile to know it was worth the sacrifice.

    Your former spouse is indicative of the world today, people telling others ot do one thing, while they do another.

    You've got your head on straight, just be the best father you can.

    As far as THAT female, she's no longer anything to you.
     
    Sapper likes this.
  7. Sapper

    Sapper Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your words, I really appreciate it. I do my best to maintain the moral high road so I can look at myself in the mirror each day.
     
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  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Well...you already knew that. You told us that your decree prohibits you from "cohabit[ing] in a marriage-like relationship while the children remain minors and in the home." In other words, don't live with another woman or man "in a marriage-like relationship." Of course, what constitutes "a marriage-like relationship" can vary greatly from couple to couple.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Reality check. From a practical standpoint, that provision is probably unenforceable.

    For one thing you won't have cause to go to court until after it happens.

    For another, there is so much ambiguity in that provision that all a judge will probably say is "Don't do it again."

    For a third thing, you'll spend thousands of dollars on your attorney just to get to that point.

    Fourth, you're going to make your kids very unhappy every time you take your ex to court because she took a weekend trip with "new dad" with whom they always have a good time.
     

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