Your marriage is officially over – or it will be, once all the negotiations are done and the paperwork is all signed and properly filed. You’ve mentally moved on, and life is short, so why not take a chance on a new relationship if the opportunity is there?
Well, dating during your divorce can be problematic. You may be entirely “over” your marriage, but does your spouse feel the same? Whether your split is fairly amicable or utterly acrimonious, your spouse may have a lot of unresolved feelings about the situation (and you) that could come to the forefront once they find out you are already seeing someone new.
They could respond by suddenly being less agreeable to the property division process and other critical issues, and that can cause your divorce to drag on much longer than necessary (or even end up in litigation.) If you want to get through your divorce as quickly and seamlessly as possible, you don’t want to antagonize your spouse right now. Waiting a few months to start dating might be a good strategy, as a result
It could definitely have implications on financial issues and custody
If you have children, dating during your divorce can complicate matters related to child custody and visitation rights. Your spouse may argue that your dating life is more important to you than your role as a parent, and portray you as a disinterested or neglectful parent. Even if that’s entirely untrue, it could make achieving shared custody more difficult, especially if your spouse objects to your new partner being involved with the children.
Your dating life can also affect the financial aspects of your divorce. You can generally expect a lot of scrutiny over the use of any marital funds that were used to court your new partner, such as hotel costs, transportation expenses, vacations and expensive gifts or dinners at fancy restaurants. That could lead to allegations of the “wasteful dissipation” of the marital property, and that can tilt the division of property in your spouse’s favor.
When you’re going through a divorce, seeking experienced legal guidance can provide you with the most accurate advice tailored to your situation. After all, no two marriages – or divorces – are exactly alike and guidance that benefits one individual may need to be adjusted when applied to your circumstances.