If you have recently separated from your spouse, you might have begun to pursue other relationships. As a divorce lawyer might tell you, by law, dating before your divorce has been finalized could be considered adultery. Even if you have been given permission by your ex to date, or they have begun dating so you think you should too, it is advisable to re-think this decision. Failure to do so could result in your ex using your actions against you in the divorce. This might not only be time consuming and draining, but could also be very costly.
The Emotional Tolls of Dating
An experienced divorce lawyer would like you to understand that there are consequential risks, beyond those that are legal, when you participate in dating before a divorce. By beginning a new relationship too soon, anyone involved — particularly young children — can be affected emotionally and mentally. All too often, a newly separated person will be unable to put forth the attention either the relationship or children require. Stress may be high and cause you to act like a different person. You might become distracted and make decisions that could have a serious effect on the divorce. It is advisable that you hold off on dating until you are emotionally ready and available to commit to a new relationship.
The Complications of Child Custody and Parenting Time
It is certainly possible for child custody to be impacted when you begin to date someone prior to a divorce being finalized. Should your divorce, or custody matter, go to court, it will be up to the judge to decide the amount of time you can spend with your child. The judge has a duty to ensure the child’s best interests are considered. If a judge finds out that you have brought a new person into your life, the judge might question you in further detail. He or she might want to know about the person, their character, and whether you intend on this being a long term relationship.
If a judge believes your new relationship could pose a risk or threat to the children, you might lose your ability to securely primary custody. This is often common when a person has a criminal record or a history of addiction or violence. Bear in mind, your ex could also use your new relationship to secure more time with your children. For example, if your ex does not like your new partner and believes he or she is not a good influence, this could work against you.
It is possible that you could be financially impacted when you date during a divorce. As a divorce lawyer might tell you, money spent on your new partner could make it difficult to state your case for alimony — regardless of what side you are on. If you are seeking alimony, your ex might be able to allege that, due to your new relationship, you have ample money to take care of yourself. If you move in with your new partner, you might lose your alimony or spousal support. Cohabitating with another person is generally enough for a judge to discontinue any further financial support from an ex.
Finally, if you end up terminating your new relationship, you may be unable to seek the original divorce terms. Before you start a new relationship, a divorce lawyer would recommend that you think carefully and choose wisely. If you need any legal assistance, call a lawyer today.