Often people are concerned about the prospect of dating during divorce. Sometimes people worry about how dating and a new relationship can impact their divorce. Circumstances vary on a case to case basis, and not unlike other issues that impact family law matters, some couples immediately begin new relationships without any issues, and other people may have to deal with more obstacles when they begin new relationships.
Can dating during divorce affect custody?
One of the most common issues that arise when one spouse begins a new relationship and is dating during the divorce occurs when the parties have children together. Introducing children to a significant other during the divorce is something that frequently creates tension when dealt with during the divorce process. People often have concerns about introducing children too soon to a spouse’s new significant other. It is not uncommon for people to date someone early on during the divorce process or immediately following the divorce process that does not become a long term relationship. Concerns about introducing children too soon to other individuals are not invalid. Particularly, as it is necessary for the children to process the divorce as well. You want to avoid introducing them to new people too soon or too frequently.
Another concern that people have when addressing new relationships is the issue of alimony and whether a new relationship will impact alimony. In 2014 the alimony statute was amended to reflect that dating couples do not have to formally live together in order for a court to make a determination that they are cohabiting. The court looks to other factors, such as intertwined finances, the sharing of household chores, and an outsider’s perspective of the relationship as a whole. This can include proof that your former spouse provides to the court. It has become routine to see people’s social media posts used against them in court to establish that they are cohabiting with another person. Photos of vacations and new purchases may be sufficient for a court to determine that an alimony review is necessary. This could have a very significant impact on a person’s ability to continue to maintain their lifestyle.
Dating someone going through a divorce
Oftentimes people have concerns about starting a relationship with someone going through a divorce. If you are considering starting a relationship with someone who is dating during divorce, you have to be open to the emotional situation that the person is experiencing and the legal matters that they are continuing to deal with as they navigate their divorce process.
Can I date while separated during a divorce?
Yes, you can date while separated during a divorce while going through the separation. It is important to keep in mind that your actions can be brought before the court at any time. Particularly, if you have children. The court may be asked to make decisions concerning your choices, and how they might impact your children and the divorce process if you are dating during divorce.
Can you get engaged while going through a divorce?
There is not a restriction against getting engaged while going through a divorce. However, that engagement cannot be finalized and converted into a marriage until your divorce is dissolved.
Is it illegal to date while going through a divorce?
It is not illegal to date while going through a divorce. Dating, while separated, is permissible. However, keep in mind that starting a new relationship often comes with its own set of circumstances and it may be difficult to navigate those as your attention is also focused on dissolving your marriage. Especially, if you have children, and you are also focused on the impact the divorce process is having upon your children as all of you adjust to your new family dynamic going forward.
The attorneys here at DeTorres and DeGeorge are committed to effectively representing clients in all facets of their litigation. If you are concerned about how dating may impact your divorce, dating during divorce, or your life after your divorce is final, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.