No Overnight Guests of the opposite sex

Asked over 4 years ago - Atlanta, GA

My settlement agreement reads as follows:

Both parties acknowledge that they will not engage in inappropriate conduct while the minor child is in their home. Neither party shall have an overnight guest(s) of the opposite sex not related by blood or marriage while having physical custody of the minor child except a bona fide live-in roommate. However, the minor child may have her school age friends spend the night with the consent of the custodial parent.

My fiancee has never spent the night at my house during my parenting time. However, my daughter and I have on a few ocassions spent the night at her house. But this has only occurred at the request of her kids or my daughter because they want the other to come over and spend the night so they can play.

Am I in violation?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Brian E. Daughdrill

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Congratulations on kids that get along with future step siblings. The "blended family" is always a challenge.

    This is a so-called "morality clause." STRICLY speaking, you are the "guest" and don't have a "guest," however, when it comes to the best interest of the child, the Court may not be "amused" by strict constructionism. I have seen this point argued where the language was MORE precise (it said guest in the HOME) and the attorney for the other side still argued that it violated the "spirit" of the agreement. What you risk is a motion for contempt by your ex-spouse wherein they seek to impose on you a penalty for violating the agreement (or perhaps argue it as a grounds to modify your current arrangement). There is a possibility that the Court will NOT construe it strictly and therefore find you in contempt but, in general, the "uncertainty" that you are expressing may more likely result in an admonition from the court about how to proceed going forward (whether the court then awards your spouse fees for having to bring the motion is another issue). The fact that this is your bona fide financee may also be relevant.

    This response is for informational purposes only and may not be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to discuss the particulars of your case with one of our family law attorneys, please contact us in prviate.

  2. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I'd agree with the prior answer and would add that it is risky enough so I would advise against it.

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