My ex has primary custody of our 15-year-old and recently dropped him off saying she was “done with him.”
This isn’t a problem for me, except that our divorce included a morality clause saying that we cannot have an overnight guest of the opposite sex and I live with my girlfriend (who stays with friends during my overnight visitation).
Is this considered child abandonment to just drop our child off on my doorstep since she’s the custodial parent? And how does this affect the morality clause since I live with my girlfriend?
In order to proceed, you will need to file a suit to modify an existing order.
Under Texas law, an order regarding the conservatorship, possession of or access to a child may be modified upon showing of a “material and substantial” change of circumstances of one of the parents or the child since the signing of your final decree of divorce and proof that the said modification would be in that child’s best interest.
Additionally, a court can modify an existing order (and just to clarify, a final decree of divorce is a final order) if the parent who has the right to designate the primary residence of the child has voluntarily relinquished primary care and possession of the child for at least 6 months, and if the modification is in the child’s best interest.
The court can also modify an order if the parents agree to the modification and the modification is in the child’s best interest.
In Texas, there are many types of changes that can occur in a child or parents’ life that could meet this standard of “material and substantial.” However, the fact that you have a morality clause in your order is something that must be addressed as soon as possible because you do not want to violate the court’s order.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in our state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”