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'Morality clause' causes problem for Texas mother

By the time many couples reach the final stage of their divorce, most are simply ready to be done with it all. Reading the fine print goes out the window and the urge to 'get out now' tends to take over. But according to some family law experts, an often overlooked clause in divorce agreements in Texas could be causing some problems to same-sex couples in the state.

Called a 'morality clause,' it's often included in divorce agreements without people even knowing it. It was designed for divorced couple with children to prevent unmarried people from cohabitating with another person while the children are present. And because gay marriage is not allowed in Texas, gay couples are running into problems when it comes to this clause.

Take for example a recent case out of Collin County this month. According to reports, a Texas judge recently enforced the clause in one woman's divorce papers because she was living in the same home with her children and partner. Although the judge's ruling does not appear to have affected the terms of her child custody arrangements, it could force her partner to move somewhere else.

One legal expert explains that the couple could appeal the judge's decision if they so choose. A decision on the appeal could have a significant impact on how future court hearings interpret this clause for other gay couples. At present time, the couple have sought legal counsel and are trying to determine what their next step should be in the case.

Source: The Dallas Voice, "Judge says lesbian mom's partner must go," Anna Waugh, May 17, 2013

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