Despite the fact that your marriage is over, dating before a divorce is finalized can have a variety of negative effects on the outcome of your divorce case, including child custody and spousal support, and should be avoided, if possible. While reigniting your love life can relieve some of the stress of this emotional process, there are several legal and emotional reasons why it is simply not a wise idea.
Here are some of the reasons why you should off on dating until after the divorce is over:
The Divorce Settlement: You might have never cheated on your spouse and only began dating after proceedings began, but dating before the process is complete might open up questions and suspicions regarding your fidelity and the possibility of marital misconduct. Technically, this should not have an impact on divorce proceedings, but a judge might hold it against you. After all, they are only human and subject to the same biases everyone else is.
Additionally, dating during a divorce might anger your spouse, regardless of your behavior during the marriage. He or she might begin to wonder if you were unfaithful, resulting in confrontational behavior, which can further complicate negotiations regarding a settlement. If your case goes through litigation, your new partner might impact the division of property and alimony determination, especially if you are cohabitating with a new partner who is on a stronger financial footing than your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Child Custody Issues: When children watch a parent date during a divorce, they might resent the new partner in their parent’s life. If a child becomes particularly uncomfortable with the presence of a new person in your life, the court might even take this into account when the time comes to make child custody determinations. Of course, your spouse might also become more resistant to child custody arrangements out of anger and resentment for your new relationship.
You must also keep in mind that, if your new relationship is serious, your new partner’s past might also be taken into consideration during child custody proceedings. For example, if he or she has a criminal past, a judge might be concerned about the safety of the children and be less inclined to award you custody. It is also important to remember that you are going to have on-going contact with your ex-spouse and how you handle the situation can affect any future joint decisions regarding the children.
Emotional Issues: In the end, divorce is about more than just the outcome of a case, but the emotions involved as well. A new relationship can surely ease the pain and emotional suffering of a divorce, especially a contentious one, but that relief is often temporary. Many are often not emotionally ready to begin a new relationship. In fact, several studies have shown that the first relationship after a divorce have slim chances of long-term survival. Why jeopardize something so important for a relationship that will very likely end? If the new person you have an interest in dating truly is meant for your future, he or she should want what is best for you, and waiting until the divorce is finalized should not be too much of a hurdle.
Louisville Divorce Attorney
Divorce is a difficult decision for spouses to make, but sometimes necessary. To protect the best interests of clients and to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible, Louisville divorce attorney Louis P. Winner will focus on the “big picture” of your case, and works closely with families to identify and create solutions that are favorable to both spouses. This can save not only time and money, but the emotional stress often associated with the process.
Attorney Winner has the experience and skill to advice, counsel, and represent you in divorce matters, including prenuptial agreements, division of property, child support, child custody, and more.
If you and your spouse are considering a divorce or legal separation, contact Louisville divorce attorney Louis P. Winner at (502) 812-1889 today to schedule a consultation. You do not have to go through this alone.