How to Date in the Middle of a Divorce

When it comes to dating during a divorce, there are some people who advise against it, and then there are people who recommend it. Should YOU date during your divorce?

This is a personal question that only you can answer, however, if you do decide to get back into the dating game before your divorce is finalized, we recommend that you follow some basic guidelines, especially if you have minor children.

1. Separate before you date.
Divorce may be on your mind, but if you haven’t separated from your spouse yet, hold off on dating. Do not begin dating until after you have separated from your spouse. Not only can dating too soon complicate things, it’s not fair to your spouse as it would be considered cheating.

If you’re separating, but considering reconciliation, then don’t date during the separation.

2. Discuss dating with your spouse.
If you intend to date, do make an agreement with your spouse that you can both date, but also agree on which dating behaviors are okay, and which ones are not, especially if you have children.

3. Do not conceive a child during your divorce.
You want to avoid actions, such as conceiving a child with a new partner during your divorce as this can complicate matters over paternity issues.

4. Do be honest with your new partner.
If you decide to date while your divorce is pending through the courts, do be honest with your new dating partner about the divorce. Make sure they know what they are getting into.

5. Use the utmost discretion.
If you have children, date only during your non-custodial periods, and don’t let your children know about your new love interest. If a judge feels that you are putting a new love interest above your children, it could affect child custody.

6. Don’t move in with your new partner.
During divorce, do not move in with your new love interest, as this can upset your children and aggravate your soon-to-be-ex, complicating your divorce and costing you more money.

If you’re considering cohabitation, don’t share the keys to the house until after you’ve asked your attorney how the move would impact spousal support, property division and child support.

7. If you have children, be careful of whom you date.
When you have minor children, you must be extra careful about who you date, especially if your new partner has contact with your children.

Make sure that he or she does not have a substance abuse problem, a criminal background, or a history of domestic violence (whether proven or not). You spouse’s divorce attorney can use your new partner’s checkered past against you in a child custody battle.

For further information about dating during divorce, contact Claery & Hammond, LLC.