Are There Any Legal Consequences When Dating During a Divorce?

Divorce can be a painfully long process that nobody hopes for, especially when children are involved. But, in some instances, it becomes inevitable and the best step to take. According to a study, the common reasons for divorce include lack of commitment, infidelity and communication problems.

In most cases, while waiting for the divorce to be final, loneliness creeps in. You might want to meet someone new for fun or to feel desirable again. But, are there any legal consequences of dating during a divorce?

Most states have no laws stopping you from dating as you go through a divorce process. Nonetheless, it’s unwise in all instances. Not only does it hurt your partner, but it could also cause retaliation.

Still, a divorce lawyer will advise you that the legal implications of dating during divorce could bring long-lasting consequences. Keep reading to learn more.

Dating During a Divorce

Dating during a divorce can negatively impact the divorce process, causing a loss in different ways. While no judge will tell you to refrain from dating while the divorce process is ongoing, the price to pay could be more than you expect when it comes to settlements.

Given the negative consequences of dating before your divorce concludes, you need legal advice from the best and most experienced divorce lawyer on how to proceed. Divorce lawyers work with anyone who’s going through a divorce, whether or not you are dating in the process.

Usually, it’s challenging to decide with an ex-spouse about the following:

  • Child custody
  • Property division
  • Alimony
  • Child support

But, a family lawyer will enable you to easily reach a wise decision. Most importantly, consultation with a divorce lawyer will help with your divorce in the following ways:

  • You won’t need to allow your ex-spouse alone or a court to make all the decisions.
  • The best divorce lawyers will protect your rights and interests.
  • You can ask for a written or uncontested divorce.
  • A divorce lawyer can help facilitate smooth communication with your ex-partner for better negotiations and a post-divorce relationship.
  • Your family law lawyer will enable your children to have an effortless transition into their new lifestyles by helping you reach a fair and peaceful resolution.

Above all, your divorce lawyer will inform and advise you on the legal implications of dating during a divorce.

The following are the expected consequences if you wish to continue dating and become involved in a possible relationship:

●    Child Custody Complications

According to a study, 40% of US states strive to give each parent equal parenting time after a divorce. But, this can be an issue when one partner is dating while still getting divorced. Such a situation may affect the outcome of obtaining custody of children.

Children, especially an older child, are mainly affected and stressed by such situations. If the dating parent wins custody, the adolescent tends to be moody and argumentative. They feel that the divorce may result from the parent dating someone else.

Even though this is a top consideration when the judge rewards primary custody, there are more significant factors. But, the dating parent could feel discomfort and face difficult home life situations, which complicates everything.

Additionally, the spouse not dating may refuse peaceful agreements on child visitation or support. As a result, the divorce process may take longer, involving more negotiations to settle  with the angry partner. Still, unwillingness or lack of compromise could cause more complications if the case goes to court.

In most instances, this may sway the judge’s decision about which parent should get primary custody. It’s usually for the child’s best interests in the judge’s eyes. Regarding visitation, the judge could reduce the amount of time agreed upon. An observer could also ensure the child doesn’t show negativity when a third party is involved in the visiting parent’s time.

●    Nullification of Alimony

Dating during divorce could affect the expected alimony. If you are the partner with more income and are dating before the divorce is complete, your ex can demand more financial support.

Conversely, if you are the recipient partner and dating during divorce, you will likely damage your alimony chances. This may worsen if you move in with your new man or woman.

When you cohabitate, it becomes hard to convince your ex-partner and the court about your alimony. Besides, it’s easy to assume that you’re doing better and don’t require financial support from your ex.

●    Division of Property

Division of property in a divorce case is a considerable matter. Many things come into play when you want to divide marital property. However, the goal is generally for both spouses to end up on fair footing.

This is mainly for each partner’s idea to continue with a lifestyle like the one enjoyed during the marriage. That’s why a couple on reasonable terms or mediation helps decide how to settle the assets.

Usually, dating during a divorce doesn’t affect this matter, but in some instances, it can. Even if there’s no living together, expenses accumulated in a relationship can play a part in the financial and lifestyle needs. Dates, vacations, gifts, and more costs add up.

The other partner may incur new debts on joint credit cards if the dating spouse spends much money from shared accounts. While accounting is crucial during a divorce, it’s likely to affect property division down the road.

●    Intensified Conflict

Divorce cases come with a lot of stress. But, it’s even worse when one spouse is dating another person. It’s likely to add more emotional stress and cause further conflict for both spouses. Plus, it could cause unnecessary disagreements on matters that wouldn’t be there if nobody was dating anyone else.

Moreover, the partner not dating may argue that the dating spouse was having an extramarital affair during their marriage. When infidelity is raised, and one party isn’t willing to compromise, the process tends to take longer with more distress.

●    Your New Partner Could Be Dragged into the Settlement

Your new man or woman could be a party to your divorce case. Some possible claims that your ex-spouse can make are conspiracy and fraud. For instance, if you give a marital car to a third party without your partner’s knowledge or consent, it could result in a fraud claim.

Furthermore, your new partner can be ousted or forced to be on the record and summoned to testify at trial. This helps your ex’s divorce lawyer determine when the relationship started and if your new partner has any marital property.


Bottom Line

When it comes to divorce, you must avoid any thought of dating or starting a new relationship before the final process. While it’s not illegal, the emotional, practical, and legal consequences are things you don’t want to deal with.

If you suspect your spouse is dating or you can’t avoid seeing someone else, a divorce lawyer is your best option. Mainly, because of the children’s welfare and property division, a family lawyer is vital in custody battles and divorce proceedings.