Divorce is a time of change, renewal, and growth. Both partners have the opportunity to “reset” during a process that can take months or even years. While separations are being litigated or finalized, it is common for new relationships to form.
However, under the view of the law, a person is married until the divorce is final. “Indiscretions” or changes to your relationship status could drastically change the divorce proceedings. At the same time, dating during a divorce process is not entirely impossible or forbidden.
Potential Legal Consequences of Divorce and Dating While Separated
Every state’s laws differ about dating while a divorce is pending. While there is no law prohibiting dating while going through a divorce, doing so could still affect the legal proceedings between you and your soon-to-be-former spouse in a few ways:
- Amicability – Depending on the tone of the divorce proceedings and of the separation, starting a new relationship may affect your partner’s desire to settle amicably. Uncorroborated allegations of adultery could influence even the most fair-minded judges.
- Alimony – Alimony is often viewed as temporary support to allow the lower-earning partner time to get back on their feet. If you date a new person, and especially if you move in with them, the court may decide you need less assistance, if any.
- Custody – Dating during separation could also affect the perception of parenting abilities, obligations, and desires. If the court views the new relationship – however unfairly – as evidence of poor parenting, custody arrangements could be affected.
Before entering into a new relationship during your divorce proceedings, take these factors into consideration.
Benefits of Waiting Until a Divorce Is Final Before Dating
There are many potential legal consequences of dating while a divorce is pending. But these drawbacks are not guaranteed to occur, so dating can be tempting.
A benefit of waiting to date until a divorce is finalized is the chance for individual, personal growth. Divorces are a stressful process for everyone involved, especially if you have children. But they may give you the opportunity to connect with old friends, family, or focus on your children, as you transition into a new era of your life. It is important that before you jump into another relationship that you take the time to focus on who you are, what you want out of life, and to make sure you are making good choices regarding your next relationship instead of making decisions out of loneliness, hurt, and anger.
We always recommend waiting for a least a year following your divorce before you begin dating again to give yourself time to adjust to your new normal and to focus on yourself. Then, we recommend waiting at least two years before committing to a serious relationship.
How Can a Huntsville Divorce Attorney at New Beginnings Family Law Help Me?
No matter your situation, speak to a divorce lawyer as soon as divorce – contested or not – becomes a consideration. By discussing your personal and financial situation, New Beginnings Family Law in Huntsville can advocate on your behalf for a divorce agreement that is supportive of your needs and takes your family’s best interests into account.
Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you today.