boyfriend over or possibly moving in allowed?

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Latest post Thu, Aug 4 2011 5:13 PM by LynnM. 3 replies.
  • Thu, Aug 4 2011 3:38 PM

    • Dawn24
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Thu, Aug 4 2011
    • SC
    • Posts 11

    boyfriend over or possibly moving in allowed?

    I have been divorced for 9 months now and have a boyfriend whom my children absolutely love.  He is more of a father to them than their father.  My boyfriend lives in another state, 5 hours away.  When he visits, of course he stays overnight (we have a guestroom).  My ex recently grilled my children (who are 15 and 11) about where he sleeps, etc. because our decree states we have to keep them in a "moral environment".  Can someone tell me exactly what the South Carolina court defines as a "moral environment"?  Does this mean that if he eventually wants to move in with us, that is considered immoral and I would have to marry him?

  • Thu, Aug 4 2011 3:59 PM In reply to

    Re: boyfriend over or possibly moving in allowed?

    I've actually had to deal with this in SC.

    My now wife's husband had in put into their divorce decree basically, you couldn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend sleep over when you had the child.

    For quite a while, he would really try to enforce that also.  I would go to a hotel when my now wife had her son.  Her ex was actually patrolling the parking lot and would make numerous harashing phone calls many times.

    The problem was eventually solved when he found himself a girlfriend.  From that moment forward, he suddenly decided it would be be if we all just ignored that part of the divorce decree.

    It's one of the few times I've ever heard of this sort of thing, but things are definitely different here in SC.

    I don't know what a court in SC would think, but I'm going to lean toward thinking they would think it immoral. 

    I can tell you that in MA, my ex wife could not have any say in my living arrangement, and she really gave it her all to try to.



  • Thu, Aug 4 2011 4:11 PM In reply to

    Re: boyfriend over or possibly moving in allowed?

    The following case decision suggests that such a clause would either not be enforceable or that the phrase "moral environment" would not be construed as excluding a live in boyfriend.

    Howevever, there is no doubt that your ex could cause you some very expensive legal problems while litigating that issue until the courts decide.



    Quoting Scott v Scott, 354 S.C. 118;579 S.E.2d 620 (2003)


    Father takes issue with the following provision in the divorce decree:

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that all parties be, and are hereby, enjoined and restrained from having contact with a member of the opposite sex not related by blood or marriage in the presence of either child from the hours of 10:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. This injunction and restriction applies to any structure or open area where the children and the party will sleep in close proximity to each other.

    Father argues that this restriction is overly broad and unreasonable. For example, he contends that if read literally, Caitlyn would not be allowed to have any girlfriends sleep over when Father has custody of Caitlyn. We agree.

    The Court of Appeals struck down a similar provision in Jackson v. Jackson, 279 S.C. 618, 310 S.E.2d 827 (Ct. App. 1983). In that case, the father was allowed to have his son visit only if the child was "not exposed to persons not related to [the father] by blood or marriage." The Jackson court explained as follows:

    This restriction was intended to prevent the child from visiting in the presence of [the father's] live-in girlfriend. The restriction is overly broad and unreasonable as there was no finding that the presence of [the girlfriend] would adversely affect the welfare of the child. ... Even if this finding had been made, the restriction is overly broad in carrying out its intended purpose. Carried to its logical extreme, it would prevent the child from entertaining his own friends at his father's home.

    Id. at 622, 310 S.E.2d at 829 (citation omitted).

    The restriction in this case likewise is overly broad and therefore is reversed. Id.
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  • Thu, Aug 4 2011 5:13 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    Re: boyfriend over or possibly moving in allowed?

    I suggest you call your divorce attorney and ask for clarification. But, yes, living with a boyfriend could be an issue.

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