Going through a divorce can be a challenging and sometimes lonely process. It’s normal to think about jumping back into the dating pool as soon as you’ve filed the initial paperwork. Dating during divorce, however, has its own unique challenges, and can negatively affect your divorce in ways you would not expect.
Can You Start Dating While Your Divorce is in Progress?
If you’re considering dating before your divorce is finalized, it’s a good idea to reconsider. A new relationship can have a negative effect on your divorce proceedings, potentially making them more contentious and complicated, and draw out the divorce process even longer. Here are just a few of the ways dating during a divorce can affect things:
- It can be considered adultery. Until your divorce is finalized, you’re still legally married, and that means that if you have sexual relations with someone other than your spouse, even while separated, it could be considered an affair or adultery. This is true even if the new relationship started after the separation.
- It can cause issues with finances and division of assets. Community property is very important in divorces, and even if you’re living in two separate houses, your money may still be considered part of the joint finances. If you’re taking your new partner on vacations or buying them expensive gifts, the courts may consider this inappropriate use of community funds, and it could change how the courts choose to award assets in the divorce.
- It can make your ex less likely to cooperate. Even if your divorce was a mutual decision, it can still be difficult for one party to see their ex move on. Just having a new partner may make your soon-to-be-ex spouse less likely to agree to terms during mediation or to cooperate during settlement agreements.
- It can cause confusion and more issues when children are involved. If there are children, even adult children, it can cause confusion and even anger. There is almost never a good reason to introduce children to a new partner when a divorce is still going on.
What If You’re Already in a Relationship?
If you’re already in a new relationship and you don’t want to end it, the best thing to do is to keep a low profile. This isn’t the time to post about your relationship on social media or share pictures of your date night. It’s also a good idea not to introduce your new partner to your children until after the divorce is final. Doing these things can help keep your new relationship from affecting your divorce proceedings. The bottom line is that it’s best to stay single until your divorce is finalized. If the person and the relationship are worth it, they’ll still be there when you’re ready.
If you have questions about the divorce process, your specific situation and how you can best navigate this time, contact Julia Bancroft, PC, at 281-895-1885 to schedule a consultation.