Dating Before Divorce is Finalized
"Is it okay for me to date while my divorce is pending? After all, we did split up." Our clients ask this question often, so if you're wondering too, know that it's not an unusual question to ask.
Generally, an experienced divorce attorney in Nassau County would err on the side of caution, and tell their clients, "Don't date until your divorce is final," but we know that for some clients, that's easier said than done.
Perhaps you've been in an empty, loveless marriage for over 10 years, and now you've met somebody who makes you feel excited about life again. Or, perhaps you just want to have a little "fun" so you can get your mind off the divorce, even if it's during an occasional dinner date.
One of the main reasons that divorce attorneys advise against dating while a divorce is pending is because it can upset one's spouse, which can, in turn, lead to more complications and increased litigation costs.
Judges however aren't in the practice of punishing someone for dating once they officially separated from their spouse. Beware, your ex's attorney could go so far as to subpoena your innocent "new friend" to answer questions, for instance, over when you started dating, or how much marital assets you've spent on him or her.
Contact our firm to further discuss the issue.
Guidelines if You're Thinking About Dating During the Divorce Process
Only you know how your ex would react to your dating. If you decide to get back on the dating scene, here are some important guidelines to follow.
- Do not begin dating until you have physically separated from your spouse. If your ex still has not moved out, wait until they pack their bags.
- Do not change your status on Facebook from "married" to "single" until the divorce is final.
- Only date on days/nights when you do not have the children.
- Don't introduce any new partners to your children until after the divorce and until you know it's serious.
- Do discuss dating with your spouse, and reach an agreement about how you're both going to date.
- Be careful of who you date if you have children. Don't date anyone who may put your children in harm's way.
- Don't post any pics on social media with you and your new sweetheart until the divorce is final.
- If you're a woman, don't get pregnant until after your divorce is final. If you're a man, don't impregnate another woman. An unplanned pregnancy will prolong your divorce and if you're the mother, you may have to verify paternity for the purposes of child support and custody.
- We recommend socializing in groups, especially if you live in a small town.
- If you do meet someone that you like, be upfront about your divorce so they know what they're getting themselves into.