Legally reviewed by:
King Law
March 4, 2024

What is a Non-Disparagement Clause?

A non-disparagement clause in a custody agreement is a provision that prohibits both parents from making negative or derogatory statements about each other about their parenting abilities, character, or behavior. It is designed to promote a cooperative and respectful co-parenting relationship and to shield children from the potential harm caused by ongoing conflict between their parents.

The clause typically outlines specific types of statements or actions that are prohibited, such as publicly criticizing the other parent on social media, speaking negatively about the other parent to the children, or discussing private family matters with third parties disparagingly. The purpose is to prevent one parent from undermining the other’s authority or tarnishing their reputation, which can have a detrimental impact on the child’s well-being and sense of stability.

Non-disparagement clauses may also include consequences or remedies for violations. These could range from warnings and requests to remove offensive statements to potential legal action or modifications to the custody agreement. The specific details and enforcement mechanisms of the clause can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the terms agreed upon by the parents.

It’s worth noting that non-disparagement clauses are becoming more common in custody agreements, but their enforceability can vary. Some jurisdictions may view them as an infringement on free speech rights and may limit their scope or decline to enforce them. Therefore, if you have questions or concerns about a non-disparagement clause, it’s advisable to consult with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction to understand how it may apply in your specific situation.

How are Non-Disparagement Clauses Enforced in North Carolina? 

In North Carolina, non-disparagement clauses in custody agreements can be included to promote respectful and cooperative communication between parents and to protect the best interests of the child. While these clauses are generally enforceable, the extent of enforcement can vary depending on the circumstances and the court’s interpretation.

If a non-disparagement clause is violated in North Carolina, the parent who believes the clause has been breached can seek legal remedies. The aggrieved parent can file a motion with the court requesting enforcement of the clause. The court may consider various factors, including the nature and extent of the disparaging statements, the impact on the child, and the overall behavior and conduct of the parents.

If the court determines that a violation of the non-disparagement clause has occurred, it may order remedies or consequences. These can include warnings, requiring the offending parent to remove or retract the statements, attending co-parenting counseling or classes, modifying the custody agreement, or even holding the parent in contempt of court. The specific remedies will depend on the circumstances of the case and the judge’s discretion.

King Law is Here to Help

It’s important to note that the enforcement of non-disparagement clauses can be complex, and each case is unique. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with an experienced family law attorney in North Carolina who can provide guidance based on your specific situation and local laws.

The experienced family law attorneys at King Law understand your stress and are dedicated to supporting you through this challenging ordeal. Our attorneys are proud to serve their clients in North Carolina and South Carolina and help them achieve favorable outcomes for their cases. Our award-winning team has a proven track record of success and is committed to protecting your rights and delivering the best possible results. To learn more about how our legal experts can help you, give us a call at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or fill out our contact form today.

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
March 4, 2024

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

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