Morality clauses (split topic - Mod)

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Morality clauses (split topic - Mod)

Unread postby Chicyn2001 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:42 am

lionel2013 wrote:
I've actually requested that my STBX can't bring a new beau around my kids until at least a year after I leave the house.


And did she actually agree to this?


Not yet but I'm asking for it. Got the idea when a neighbor asked for the same thing. He and his STBX both agreed to it. She can date/see/love whomever she wants but I just don't want them shacking up when my kids are there. I'm a firm believer that my kids need some time to digest the divorce before introducing a new person into the mix.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby lovingfatherof2 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:06 am

You could request that and she could agree and it would then be a part of your court order.

Problem is, it's not enforceable.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby Chicyn2001 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:09 am

lovingfatherof2 wrote:You could request that and she could agree and it would then be a part of your court order.

Problem is, it's not enforceable.


You're absolutely right but there are many things I'm asking for that aren't enforceable. I don't want her saying negative things about me to the kids but she will anyway. I want ROFR but she'll vary from that. I want us both to be involved in deciding what activities the kids participate in but she'll sign them up for things without consulting me. There are just some things I want written down for peace of mind more than anything. It's not like I'm going to haul her into court and tell a judge "She signed our daughter up for dance classes on Thursday nights and didn't discuss this with me beforehand." This is a woman who gets a jury summons and just throws it in the trash because she doesn't want to go. In her eyes, nothing is enforceable. My father and grandfather were both career prosecutors and I learned from them at an early age that there needs to be consequences for breaking boundaries or laws if the system is going to work. I'll ask for these boundaries in my divorce but, as you mentioned, some of them aren't really enforceable, ergo, there will be no consequences. I guess deep down I'm hoping if I get a few things in writing she might finally develop some moral decency. It's a long shot but I keep hoping.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby lovingfatherof2 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:23 am

I totally understand where you are coming from.

You just need to understand that taking any of that to court sometime down the road would be a waste of time and money.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby Trevor » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:14 pm

We have a long history of discouraging inclusion of morality clauses. Aside from being unenforceable, they can signal "drama queen" to the judge. A court order isn't there for your peace of mind - it's there to be followed.

Some of the things you mentioned are enforceable - for example, if she signs the kids up unilaterally for a hundred things to outsource their care, you are neither obligated to pay half nor drag them out to these things on your parenting time.

Morality clauses are a waste of time/effort/billable hours; other clauses can establish solid, enforceable boundaries.

There's a difference. Make sure you know what that is.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby Chicyn2001 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:44 pm

I get it Trevor but how do I get across to her that I don't want her talking < feces > about me to our kids? How do I make sure she doesn't take the kids to Mexico for vacation without letting me know? Serious questions. I guess she'll do whatever she wants regardless. I'm still in the early phases of my divorce but I've always been the type of person that does what I'm told when direction is given from authority. If the judge tells me I can only go to the bathroom between 2:00-3:00 then I'll only go the bathroom between 2:00-3:00. Hell, I ran my credit report last week and found a credit card on there I didn't even know I had. Called the company and found out she opened it in both our names last summer. Shame on me for not paying attention but I guess it just goes to show she'll do whatever she wants anyways so I suspect your insight is correct. It's always been frustrating that she and her family have always done whatever they want without any repercussions. I guess I'm a fool to think she would be any different during/after divorce. You're right...could probably spend my time better by working on my DGAF meter.

Better stop before I start getting overheated. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby Trevor » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:04 pm

1. You can't control what she says to the kids. Most boilerplate decrees have language that mandates non-disparagement. If she does it, you have to prove it. Best solution: work on the child's critical thinking skills (lots on youtube and TED on critical thinking, including teaching kids).

2. Do the kids have passports? If so, minors typically need both parents' signatures on a letter of authorization. Know your rights, Dad.

3. Good thinking on the credit report. Remain vigilant.

4. Stick around here for tactics and strategy...and have a thick skin. We have a good track record.
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Re: Morality clauses

Unread postby mgtowthatish » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:04 am

Chicyn2001 wrote:
lovingfatherof2 wrote:You could request that and she could agree and it would then be a part of your court order.

Problem is, it's not enforceable.


You're absolutely right but there are many things I'm asking for that aren't enforceable. I don't want her saying negative things about me to the kids but she will anyway. I want ROFR but she'll vary from that. I want us both to be involved in deciding what activities the kids participate in but she'll sign them up for things without consulting me. There are just some things I want written down for peace of mind more than anything. It's not like I'm going to haul her into court and tell a judge "She signed our daughter up for dance classes on Thursday nights and didn't discuss this with me beforehand." This is a woman who gets a jury summons and just throws it in the trash because she doesn't want to go. In her eyes, nothing is enforceable. My father and grandfather were both career prosecutors and I learned from them at an early age that there needs to be consequences for breaking boundaries or laws if the system is going to work. I'll ask for these boundaries in my divorce but, as you mentioned, some of them aren't really enforceable, ergo, there will be no consequences. I guess deep down I'm hoping if I get a few things in writing she might finally develop some moral decency. It's a long shot but I keep hoping.


I want to steer you right on a few of the things you said.

All of the following are enforceable:
1. Saying bad things about the other parent: Look at the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). PAS or parental alienation syndrome is considered a form of child abuse. If you get the right judge, you might get full custody (it has happened) to parents who cannot stop badmouthing the other parent. The parent who badmouths the other usually has this childish tactic backfire on them. Your kids will definitely appreciate how you did not badmouth their mother.
2. You need to request joint legal custody for all "agreed upon" activities for your children. Your ex can sign them up for anything she wants, but if you didn't agree to it, then you don't pay a dime or have to take them during your time. Make sure that "agreed upon" is in almost every paragraph about things you'll have to split the cost on.
3. ROFR is definitely enforceable. Make sure the clause also states that you can allow a new significant other to watch your children if need be. If it says this, if you decide to re-marry, your new spouse will be able to watch the children if you are away on business without putting you in danger of being in contempt.

My divorce decree is numerous pages long (30+) and my ex violates it numerous times. First contempt hearing is coming up for numerous violations. I recommend taking her back for contempt every 3-4 serious violations.

Also, read Paul Elam's book "Say Goodbye to Crazy". Don't worry about the things you cannot control with your ex. Your kids are resilient, and you will be fine. Indifference toward her is the goal.
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Re: Morality clauses (split topic - Mod)

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:16 am

I have a three-year morality clause in my decree, which was championed by the mother. I agreed to it as a concession for important-to-me things, knowing it's not actionable without spending thousands on a private investigator and court.
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Re: Morality clauses (split topic - Mod)

Unread postby Trevor » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:40 am

Ignore the part above about the DSM unless you plan to have a professional, qualified mental health professional make such an assessment.
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