If you have never heard of a morality clause, that is because they are far less common than they once were. They used to be somewhat popular, particularly in the South. They were part of the judge’s divorce orders and used to enforce what was considered appropriate behavior for divorcing parents. For example, a divorcing woman might be instructed not to host any male guests overnight, unless it’s a relative, or until the woman has been remarried to that person. These clauses are far less common, now; they are very hard to enforce, as times have changed.
Handling These Clauses
Even if you and your ex-spouse agreed to one of these clauses, the court can still refuse to enforce it. For example, if you want to argue that you should get custody of the children because you have a morality clause and your ex-spouse violated it, that is not likely to work. The court is unlikely to enforce that clause. Instead, the court will consider whether or not the action considered a violation of the clause was harmful on its own, independent of its status as a violation.
When it comes to determining factors in divorce proceedings, particularly important things like the parents’ abilities to care for children, a single clause—something seen by many as old-fashioned—is not enough to make a determination. Rather, it must be proven that something specific endangers the child, or is illegal and detrimental to fair divorce proceedings.
When it comes to deciding what should be included in pre-marriage agreements, or in requests for divorce, your best option is to seek excellent, experienced legal counsel. If you’re pursuing divorce in Florida, call Miller Law. We know Florida family law, and we can handle any elements of your divorce, including details like morality clauses. We are experienced and affordable.