Divorce can be very difficult. But many people who go through a divorce have emotionally moved on months or even years before the divorce proceedings began. For those looking to start their new lives before their marriage is legally over, there are some important things to keep in mind.
If you are having trouble deciding if divorce is the right option for you, a local attorney might be able to help. A local attorney can help you get an insight into your legal rights and options. To connect with a connect with a divorce lawyer today, just fill out the short form below.
The idea of beginning a new relationship may be exciting, but many people often neglect to think about the legal ramifications for dating during divorce.
Depending on your state laws, dating someone other than your spouse could be considered adultery, even if the relationship began after the divorce proceedings. This can potentially have a negative impact on your interests during the divorce.
Courts will typically look at context for your situation, but many don't know that their dating life can become a factor in their divorce.
In particular, if you live in a state with equitable distribution laws, the judge or jury deciding property and asset division will try to assign each party a "fair" share, based in part on their role in the divorce. If your new relationship is determined to have been a damaging factor in the marriage, you could receive less than your spouse in the divorce.
Likewise, if you are ordered to pay spousal support as part of the divorce settlement, your new relationship may affect what you end up paying. If you are seen spending lavish amounts on your new partner, the court may increase how much you owe your ex-spouse.
And if you have children, dating may even influence custody decisions. The courts may see you as focused on your personal life, and not your children. The court may see you as creating a household that is not in the best interest of your children, and award custody to your spouse.
Of course, anyone who has decided to proceed with a new relationship while going through a divorce needs to be aware of the legal ramifications. But there may also be personal ramifications, both for the divorcing spouses, children, and the new person.
A person going through a divorce is in the middle of a stressful and emotional process - one that likely began long before the divorce papers were filed. This may not be the best state of mind to begin a new relationship. Ask yourself if you are ready to commit yourself to this new person, or if you need time to get to know yourself first.
Consider the point of view of your spouse. You may not be in a relationship any longer, but it may be important to stay civil, especially if you have children and will need to see each other often. Your spouse may not dictate who you date and when, but be considerate of his or her feelings.
Children may be especially vulnerable to the presence of a new person in their lives. Young children especially may have trouble adjusting to a new parent figure - and the trouble can get worse if their form a bond with a person who may only be a temporary fixture in their lives.
The person who you are dating should realize that your divorce is a very real and very important part of your life for the time being. While you may not tell them every detail of your marriage or constantly vent about your spouse, it's very realistic that your divorce is at the front of your mind, even when spending time with another person.
If you're dating while going through a divorce, you likely have many questions - both about the legal ramifications and the personal ones. You can connect with a divorce lawyer in your area familiar with your state's laws and learn more about how your actions might play out in court. Just use the case review form below to connect with a local lawyer today.