Dating during divorce is not uncommon, but might not be in your best interests, according to Kevin C. Gage, an attorney in his article, “Dating During Divorce.” Dating when you have minor children can harm your legal case and cost you more that you can imagine. That said, you can date during the divorce period, but follow some basic guidelines to protect yourself, any children and your property rights.
Don’t begin dating until after you and your spouse are separated or your spouse could use the information to accuse your dating partner of causing the divorce, according to Lina Guillen, an attorney writing the Divorcenet article. “Dating While Divorcing.” Avoid actions that complicate your divorce, such as conceiving a child the courts must consider in paternity issues. Socialize in groups and be honest with your dating partner, advises Guillen. Don’t date during the separation if reconciliation is on the table, suggests Eileen L. Coen, J.D., a divorce mediator in the article, “Five Tips for Dating During Separation.” Do make an agreement with your spouse about whether you can both date, which dating behaviors are appropriate and how you will work dating and kids, advises Cohen.
Discretion a Must
Date discretely during your divorce, because it can aggravate your spouse and cause problems in settling your divorce according to Gage. Judges and court experts are prejudiced against those who date during a divorce, especially when minor children are involved. Date only on non-custodial weekends and don’t let them know about your new love interest. Your spouse could be watching you and use the dating information in court against you to complicate custody and parenting arrangements. It can also affect how your property rights and financial support are decided.
Consider Your Needs
Dating can help you feel more alive and appreciated, less depressed and help you become more social and make new contacts, according to a “Huffington Post” article, “Dating During Divorce.” It can also complicate your need to heal from the divorce, or if you aggravate your kids and soon-to-be ex-spouse, create a financial drain on your income and invite judgment from your family and social contacts. When dating, don’t move in with your new love interest unless you want that to affect your spousal and child support payments or property settlement, advises Gage. Keep things light and not complicated to avoid making big decisions you could later regret, because you had a rebound relationship. Take the time to work through your emotional issues and grow after the divorce.
Dating With Children
If you have children, be careful whom you date and limit the contact that partner has with your children, advises Robert Farzad, an attorney, in “Dating During a Divorce – Does It Impact Your Family Law Case?” Ensure that your new partner doesn’t have a criminal background and is safe to have around your children. Your spouse’s attorney can use any indiscretions in your partner's history in a custody battle. You also don’t want to confuse or alienate you children who could see your dating relationship as a betrayal of your spouse.