You and your spouse have decided to divorce, and for the first time in years, you feel like you can breathe. While some people come out of a divorce feeling broken and needing time to heal, others may want to date right away. This is especially common if one person mentally checked out of the marriage long before the other. While dating during a divorce is not illegal, it can certainly complicate the entire process.
Looking for aggressive and experienced divorce representation? Choose Kirk Drennan Law. Call us at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation now.
You Risk Damaging the Coparenting Relationship
Even if you have already grieved the end of your marriage, your spouse may not have. Finding out that you are dating already could upset them and cause them to lash out. While your children should never be used against you, hurt people can do irrational things. Dating when you are still married and flaunting it in front of your ex could do permanent damage to your ability to co-parent.
Your Divorce Could Take Longer
A solid divorce agreement requires compromise on the part of both spouses. Those compromises and agreements often go out the window when one spouse begins dating sooner than the other thinks is appropriate. Your attorney’s hard-won agreements could be scrapped the moment you start dating. This leads to a longer divorce process, more money spent on attorneys, and a longer wait until you are legally free of your marriage.
The Money You Spend on Your New Partner Could Come into Question
While the occasional date here and there may not cost very much, it’s a little bit different when you’re talking about high-earning individuals who like to go big on dates, vacations, and other relationship expenses. As long as you are still married, any money you spend might be considered marital property.
This could seriously complicate the division of assets and cause you to be viewed unfavorably in court. While it’s recommended that you avoid dating completely until your divorce is final, it’s especially important to avoid huge vacations and gifts for a new partner.
You Might Make the Divorce Harder on Your Children
Remember that your children are still grieving the loss of their parents’ relationship. Just because you may have moved on, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your children are ready to accept the divorce.
Even if your new partner doesn’t meet your children—and they absolutely shouldn’t if you are still married—the time you spend with them may affect your relationship with your children. If you are spending some of your parenting time on long dates or trips away with a new partner, your children will notice. Their faith in their parents may already be shaken, and you could do further damage by dating.
Custody May Be Complicated
One of the most serious issues that may arise when you start dating during a divorce is child custody. If both parents are not dating, it is far easier for them to put aside their own issues and wounds to do what is best for the children.
If you hurt your co-parent by dating, you can expect it to take much longer to reach a custody agreement. They may insist on morality clauses that forbid you from having a new partner overnight, they may try to withhold visitation if your new partner is present, or they may even look for evidence that your new partner is not safe to be around your children. Again, not only does this do serious damage to your co-parenting relationship, but it will also cost you a lot of time and money.
The temptation to date during a divorce may be hard to ignore, but it’s often in your best interest to wait until the divorce agreement is finalized and signed. If you do decide to date during this time, do so as discreetly as possible.
Discuss Your Divorce Concerns with Kirk Drennan Law
No matter where you currently are in your divorce or how contentious it is, having your own attorney is an essential part of protecting yourself throughout the process. Let us help and explain your options. Call us at 205-953-1424 or to set up a consultation.