The Legal Implications of Dating While Divorcing (in the USA)

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Divorcing is an emotional and difficult process for anyone. Some people find themselves wanting to date during this emotional and difficult time, but it’s always best to wait until the ink is dry on your divorce papers before you begin a new relationship.

If you do choose to date, no matter how ready you feel to move on in your life, make sure you understand what’s at stake when you start dating before your divorce is final. Here are some important legal implications of dating while divorcing from Austin divorce attorney Ben Carrasco to be aware of.

Revenge

Divorce can often bring out the worst in people, and if you begin dating during a divorce, it will likely feel like a personal offense to your spouse. He or she may not think reasonably, and instead may set out to ruin you for your actions. You may end up battling much fiercer competition than you otherwise would have, simply because your spouse is angry and seeking to make your life difficult. Child custody, alimony, division of assets… nothing will be too sacred to touch.

Not only that, keeping things civil is the best way to move quickly and reasonably through your divorce.

Questionable Morals?

If you live in a state that recognizes fault in a divorce, your dating may be viewed as adultery – even if it’s happening after being separated. This can impact the decisions made about your alimony, child support, and more.

If you live in a no-fault state, you still may see your morals called into question. This can sway decisions more favorably in your spouse’s direction.

Your New Partner Can Be Scrutinized

If you have children, you’ll be facing child custody issues, and any new partner can be called into question since that person will likely be spending time with your children. Does your new partner have a squeaky-clean background? If not, you may end up losing the custody you’re hoping to get.

A judge makes child custody decisions based on what he or she considers best for the children, and if there is anything shady about your new boyfriend or girlfriend, you may end up with limitations on your child custody. In addition, your new boyfriend or girlfriend could be dragged through the mud as your spouse tries to paint the worst picture about your situation.

And did you know your spouse could even potentially try to sue your new boyfriend or girlfriend for alienation of affection? Not only that, but your new partner may even be asked to testify at trial so your ex’s lawyer can determine and prove any distribution of marital property. The lawyer can even question your boyfriend or girlfriend, looking for evidence that you have said anything that can be used against you.

Alimony and Child Support

If you’re living with someone during your divorce, any alimony and child support amounts may be reduced since there will be two incomes contributing to your household. In addition, in the division of property, a judge may look closely at any gifts you may have given to your new partner, and factor those expenses in when making decisions on the division of assets.

Some Guidelines

The best advice is to simply wait to date until your divorce is finalized. 

You might also want to find a family law attorney you can trust, and direct any specific questions you have about dating to your attorney.

December 14, 2016 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized