Is It Wise to Date During a Divorce?
Divorce is a tricky and tumultuous time, and one of the common questions people have going through a divorce is “can I date?”
Obviously, if you’re already divorced this isn’t a concern, at least from a legal standpoint. If you’re still in the midst of a divorce, it can get a bit trickier.
Most lawyers recommend you wait until after your divorce is finalized before you begin dating, but here are a few specific issues to consider:
What NOT To Do
If you’re even contemplating the possibility of dating during a divorce, these are the “Don’ts:”
- If you’re not yet separated, dating should be completely out of the question. This means physically separated. If you start dating before you’re physically separated, it could be seen as infidelity.
- Consider your children first and foremost. First of all, if you’re still in the middle of a divorce, it’s probably best to wait to introduce your children to the person you’re dating. Not only can it lead to emotional confusion and instability, but your kids may also tell your spouse what you’re up to, which can be problematic in divorce court. If you begin dating before you’re legally divorced, the judge in your case may view you as being unsympathetic to the feelings of your children, or as someone who’s concerned with his or her own needs before the needs of their children.
- Don’t use social media or any other forms of communication to advertise you’re dating to your spouse. When you’re in the middle of a divorce, the best thing you can do is try to reduce tension and anger, rather than inciting it. If your spouse becomes angry that you’re dating someone else, it can make the divorce more challenging and it may impact the division of assets, as well as your child custody case.
Always remember that even if you met your new dating partner well after your separation, it may not be seen that way in the eyes of the court.
It can be very easy for your spouse to point to the person you’re dating as the reason for your divorce, so be prudent when deciding whether or not you’ll date before your divorce is final.
Not only will dating during a divorce affect how your spouse feels about the situation, but your children may also feel differently, which could lead them to have a preference to remain with your spouse.
Even if a judge doesn’t overtly say so, there are many factors that come into play when determining custody and division of assets, and there’s never a good reason to sabotage yourself. You want to take every possible step to demonstrate good character and stability.
When people are going through a divorce, their first inclination is often to want to jump into a new relationship to rebound from the old one, and while this may not be against the law, it’s probably not the best option, particularly if children are involved.
When your divorce is completed you can enter into the dating world, but wait until everyone involved, including your children, are completely ready for this situation.