Menu Contact
Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri
Schedule A Consultation 781-489-3759

Massachusetts couples need to examine effects of divorce clauses

It's not surprising that someone who has undergone a divorce has a story of how contentious it was. There is a lot of emotion and heartache that goes into the process that is hard to put aside. When children are involved, issues are even more complicated, with the potential of many proceedings that stretch out for several years. Massachusetts couples can learn about the importance of signing a divorce decree with a clause that may have a large impact on future decisions based on the experience of a same-sex couple in a different state.

In 2011, a man and a woman with two children sought a divorce. In the county in which they were divorcing, a morality clause is automatically kicked into play during divorce proceedings that prohibits a parent from having a romantic partner stay overnight while his or her children are in the house. For this particular couple, the clause was also included in the final divorce decree. If the parent remarries, the clause does not apply.

The problem for the former wife in this situation is that she is now in a same-sex relationship. While the couple would like to marry, same-sex marriage is not currently legal in the state in which they live. A judge has recently ruled that the mother's partner must move out of their home in accordance with the clause. While the lawyer for the father argues that the judge was simply enforcing the clause both former spouses agreed to, the same-sex couple argue that the clause infringes on their constitutional rights and are considering an appeal.

From this case, Massachusetts couples should learn the importance of considering the long lasting repercussions of what might be included in a divorce decree. While no one can tell the future, it's important that all ramifications be considered. For example, what if a couple in a long-term, committed relationship simply decide they do not want to marry again after already going through a difficult divorce? Perhaps the woman in this situation can revisit the issue and have their agreement modified.

Source: The Washington Post, "Texas judge says lesbian couple can't cohabitate, cites morality clause in divorce papers," May 21, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our Law Firm

To make an appointment, call 781-489-3759 or send an email to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the Boston area. Our firm can take your call 24 hours a day and meet with you during business hours, evenings and weekends. For your convenience, we accept Visa and MasterCard.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


27 Mica Lane, Suite 101
Wellesley, MA 02481

Phone: 781-489-3759
Phone: 781-239-8984
Fax: 781-239-8986
Wellesley Law Office Map

Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri


781-489-3759 781-239-8986 - Fax