Trusted. Respected. Knowledgeable.

Can it harm my case if I start dating while my divorce is still ongoing?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2022 | Divorce

You felt like your marriage ended over a year ago. That’s when you and your spouse begin discussing divorce. You then separated for a while, and finally officially filed for divorce. It’s still going on and there could be a few months before everything is completely done.

Needless to say, both you and your spouse are essentially done with the relationship, though you are technically still married. Since you feel like it’s been over for so long, you want to start dating again. But is it going to harm your case in any way if you start dating before the divorce is finalized?

It’s not illegal, but it can create problems

Legally speaking, you are certainly allowed to start dating if you want to. But you do need to understand that it can create some problems as your divorce plays out.

For example, you may be trying to seek custody of your children. Is the court going to look at this new relationship that you’re in as evidence that you aren’t spending that much time with the kids anyway? Are they going to be less likely to give you custody if your ex tries to use this as a reason why they should be considered the children’s main caretaker?

You can also cause some problems when it comes to property division. Say you’ve been buying gifts for your new partner and going out on dates. Since you’re technically still married, your spouse may be able to claim that you are spending marital assets frivolously on this other person.  They could then ask to be given more of the family’s assets to make up for this spending.

Finally, it’s just likely that you’re going to cause a lot more conflict during the divorce. Your spouse is not going to be happy that you’re dating again so soon, and they may even have questions about whether or not you started the new relationship before you told them you wanted to get a divorce. This is going to lead to disputes and arguments, and it can make the whole divorce case be more drawn-out than it would have been if you just waited until it was done to start a new relationship.

The legal process

It’s important to consider what you do during divorce, and it’s also important to think carefully about the entire legal process and all of the steps that you’ll need to take.