How can I get the morality clause out of my divorce papers?

Ex-husband hasn’t payed any of the child support he is supposed to and I’m trying to make it but can’t. I recently moved in with my dad but dad can’t let us stay long. My boyfriend said we could get a home together that way he can help me since I’m not eligible for Medicaid, foodstamps or anything like that because they say they have to count his child support even though he hasn’t paid it since we been divorced and with my job I make too much. Are there any loop holes to this clause? How much trouble would I be in if I did it anyway?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Usually the divorce decree itself will contain the loophole for the morality clause-- and the loophole is usually to just marry your boyfriend.  There is no requirement as to the formality of the marriage (i.e. J.P wedding or church wedding), only that a marriage license and return are on file.  That's your easiest option if it's included in your decree.  Other options may be in your decree, but may be disguised with some legal jargon.  You may want to have a divorce attorney at least look the decree over to see if any other loopholes jump out.  If there are no other loopholes and your boyfriend is not ready to tie-the-knot, then you can petition the court for a modification of your final decree.  In the world of divorce decrees that involve children, very little is ever final.  You may also want to include a motion for enforcement of the payment of child support.  If you don't go through the courts or use the decree loopholes, then you could subject yourself to a modification suit by your ex-husband.  This means that he could file for custody on the basis that you are an unfit parent because of your violation of the morality clause.  Since he hasn't paid, this may or may not happen, but when it comes to your kids, it's probably not a risk that you want to take.  There are options to legally get around the morality clause.  Go to the court with clean hands if you have to-- and get the decree modified.


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