Drafting Up A Divorce Decree: 3 Types Of Clauses You Can Include

Did you know that approximately 41% of first marriages end in divorce? Did you also know that the average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is approximately 8 years? While we all hope to last forever with our romantic partner after saying our vows, the truth of the matter is that most couples will end up getting a divorce. When getting a divorce, you want your attorney, someone like Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP, to draft up a divorce decree that tailors to your concerns. This article will look at 3 specific clauses commonly added to divorce decrees that might interest you.

A Mediation Clause to Avoid Wasting More Funds in the Future

For many people, they're not going to be completely rid of their former spouse once they have signed the divorce decree. This is due to the fact that they might still have to pay alimony to their former spouse or they might still have to discuss aspects of child support or custody arrangements. This means that they might have to go back to court in the future whenever additional issues arise. If you're not interested in further confrontation or spending more money on divorce lawyers, you should highly consider adding a mediation clause to the divorce decree.

A mediation clause is different from an arbitration clause. While the decisions in an arbitration are binding, decisions made during mediation are not. If you and your former spouse cannot find a compromise during mediation, you both still reserve the right to take up the matter through litigation. A mediation clause simply forces both party to try to come to a compromise first through mediation before heading back to the divorce courts again.

A Harmless Clause to Reserve the Right to Collect on Missed Payments

One of the most troublesome part of dealing with a divorce is having to distribute assets and debts. You might be held liable and responsible for any debts that your former spouse might have incurred during the marriage. In these situations, your divorce decree should also contain a harmless clause, which will basically allow you to collect payment for any debt that you had to pay for your former spouse.

For example, if your former spouse owed the credit card companies a significant amount of money, the credit card companies might come after you for payment if your former spouse was unable to pay. To avoid allowing their debts harm your credit, you might have paid off their debts. This harmless clause allows you to then go after your former spouse for any debt that you have paid for them. In most cases, the harmless clause only applies to unsecured debts.

A No Cohabitation Clause to Prevent Your Former Spouse from Bringing New Partners Around Your Child

You might not be comfortable with your former spouse bringing new partners in front of your child after the divorce. This is particularly true if your former spouse tends to have unstable and short relationships that you believe might negatively affect your child. If this is the case, you can consider including a no cohabitation clause in the divorce decree. This basically bans your former partner from allowing their new partners to live with them or to spend the night. The specifics will need to be outlined in the clause. In most cases, most terms only include allowing a new partner to spend the night when the child is in their care.

In the event that your former partner violates this clause, you can bring them back to court and request that you be granted sole custody of your child. This is due to the fact that your former spouse was unable to honor the agreement.


A divorce decree can be very complicated depending on whether there are any terms and conditions you would like to include in the agreement. Your divorce attorney can listen to the concerns that you have in order to determine whether there are any clauses that might be appropriate for your case.