When couples decide to divorce, their thoughts typically focus on what life will be like once the marriage is over. Some individuals may want to move on into new relationships shortly after the divorce process begins. However, you need to know what is and is not appropriate regarding dating during this time.
A general rule of thumb is to wait until the divorce is final before you move on with a new relationship. Not everyone is willing to wait, however. For this reason, you must be careful to avoid making any mistakes that can impact your divorce. The following are some tips to keep in mind before you begin dating as the divorce process moves forward.
Do Not Date Until You Are Separated
Before you begin dating a new person, you should be physically separated from your spouse. This is necessary even if your spouse has no issue with you moving on. If you date someone while you still reside with your spouse, the court could see this as a reason why your marriage ended. Therefore, you could lose more of your marital assets in the final decree.
See People in a Social Situations
Although courts advise couples not to date until the divorce is final, you can see people in a group social situation. If you meet a person you think would be a good match for you, explain what is going on in your life. You can exchange your information and generate a relationship platonically, but wait until the divorce is final before you start a serious relationship.
Be Mindful of Your Children
If you and your spouse have children together, be respectful to them when you approach a new relationship. Divorce is especially difficult for kids. Their home life is never going to be the same, and they have to navigate what their new life will be like.
Before you begin seeing a new person romantically, be sure to discuss it with your children in an age-appropriate way. If your children are not on board with your impending relationship, either put off the relationship for now or only see your new partner when the children are not in your custody. Once their feelings are healed, gently introduce them to your new love.
Avoid Starting a New Family
The time period between the beginning and end of your divorce is not the time to start a family with a new person. Take every precaution possible to avoid a pregnancy until your divorce is completely final. If you and your new boyfriend or girlfriend get pregnant, your divorce can take longer.
The judge can order you to verify the paternity of the new baby to help decide on custody arrangements and child support payments for your current children based on the birth of the new child.
Never Cohabitate Until the Divorce Is Final
If you wish to move in with the person you are seeing, absolutely wait to do so until the judge finalizes your divorce. Doing so can impact how much support you will receive, if applicable. If you have children, the judge can take both of your incomes into consideration when determining child support amounts.
If you expect alimony and you begin to live with another person, the judge can also use his or her additional income into your household when determining how much you should receive from your former spouse.
If you need assistance with your divorce or have additional family law needs, please contact us at Bahrie Law. We are happy to help you navigate this important time in your life with care and discretion.