While going through your divorce, you may have several questions regarding what you can and can’t do. One question that many people have is whether or not you can date while you are separated, before you have actually divorced. The answer to this question isn’t cut and dry because there are several factors that come into play. Here are some things that you need to know when it comes to dating while separated before divorce.
It Is Legally Okay
First things first, you are legally allowed to date when you and your spouse are living apart during the separation period. This means that you are not going to get in trouble with the law for going on one or more dates with someone.
Complications That May Arise
When you choose to date someone before your divorce is finalized, there are quite a few complications that can arise. For one thing, you may anger your spouse. This can cause problems during the court proceedings because they are now more angry and vindictive towards you. Their lawyer may try to use this relationship to favor your spouse’s case and they may even question if your relationship began before the separation. This can cause several unwanted problems for you and make the divorce that much more difficult.
Choosing to date could have a negative impact on your children in terms of their emotional wellbeing during the divorce. On top of this, it could also impact the custody agreement that the judge determines is best for them. They may see you as being an unfit parent and you may lose out on being able to see your children as much as you’d like.
If the dating turns into a relationship, and you happen to become pregnant or get the other person pregnant, then this can draw out the court proceedings. This is due to the fact that a paternity test must be done once the baby is born to determine if more child support needs to be paid for this child.
How You Should Go About Dating
If you absolutely feel the need to date, then you need to go about it in the right away. Start off by talking with your spouse and making sure that you are on the same page in terms of your separation. Make sure you both feel that the marriage is done and that you aren’t going to try and reconcile. This helps you feel more confident in your decision to move forward with your life.
It is a good idea to start off by dating in group settings. This helps you to deal with the loneliness that you are likely feeling, but keeps it in more of a safe and casual environment. You still get to talk with others and have a good time socializing and getting to know them.
Don’t try and rush into a relationship. This is a time in your life where you are likely feeling very overwhelmed emotionally and it can be easy to rebound into someone. However, this will help nothing and will just end up hurting you and the person you are dating. Wait until you are emotionally ready to date and give yourself time to heal.
If you do happen to start dating someone more seriously, it is important to take things slow and keep the relationship quiet. Don’t flaunt your new partner around because this can cause hurt to your spouse and your children. Instead, give it plenty of time before your new partner meets your children and let your spouse know what is going on.
Dating while you are separated, but not divorced, is something that is very tricky. While it is likely best to avoid dating all together, sometimes things don’t happen this way. It is important to keep perspective if you do decide to date and remember what is most important to you in the long term.
If you are going through a divorce and need the help of a lawyer, contact us at Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A. today.