When the flame goes out of your marriage, a new relationship can make you feel happy and desirable again. But is it advisable to begin dating before your divorce is finalized? If your divorce isn't finalized yet, you are still legally married, and there can be legal and emotional consequences for a new relationship. Learn what your new relationship could mean for your divorce settlement.
There are no laws in Texas against dating before your divorce is finalized, but it may be considered adultery. It is unlikely that you will be charged with adultery, but some judges may not look favorably upon this behavior. If the judge presiding over your case doesn't approve of your dating activity during your divorce, they may reward your spouse with a greater share when your marital assets. Your infidelity can also bring up the question of exposing your spouse to sexually transmitted diseases or wasteful dissipation of marital assets, which can land you in even more trouble.
If you and your spouse have been living separately and your marriage has ended for all other intents and purposes, your new relationship may not be as much of an issue. If you are living with your new partner, you may be sacrificing alimony or a larger share of the marital assets, since it is presumed that you are sharing expenses with your new partner. If you are unsure of how your new relationship may affect your divorce settlement, consult your divorce attorney for advice.
Custody & Visitation Issues
If you have children with your spouse, you may risk your chances of getting the custody or visitation settlement you want. Your new partner will also be scrutinized if you are open about your new relationship. If they will be in contact with your children, you should be sure that they have no prior criminal history that may cause the court to restrict your visitation time or custody rights. Wait to involve your children with your new partner until your divorce is finalized.
If you are hoping to co-parent with your spouse, you will want to maintain a cordial relationship with your spouse. Avoid causing them any more pain, and you may be able to provide a strong, caring support network for your children, despite your divorce.
It can be difficult to resist a new relationship when you are feeling hurt or unwanted from your divorce. You may also be starting a new relationship in retaliation for your spouse's infidelity. Whatever your reason is, introducing another person to your love life can set you up for hurt feelings, argument, and even acts of revenge. If you choose to proceed with a new relationship, you may wish to keep it quiet until your divorce is finalized. You may be hoping for a peaceful, no-fault divorce, but you may instead be involved in a stressful, drawn-out fight with your spouse.
Tips for Dating During Divorce
If you are choosing to continue with your new relationship, you should follow some guidelines to help protect yourself during your divorce case. Some tips for dating during a divorce include:
- Don't date until you are physically separated from your spouse.
- Socialize in a group rather than go on one-on-one dates with your new partner.
- Don't introduce your new partner to your children until the divorce is finalized.
- Keep your new partner private while your divorce is being finalized.
- Don't post about your new relationship on social media.
- Avoid pregnancy with your new partner until your divorce is finalized. A new child can make your divorce that much more difficult, and you risk upsetting your spouse and children.
- Be honest about your situation with a new potential partner. You may ask them to wait until your divorce is finished to pursue a relationship with them.
- If you need emotional support to help you through the divorce process, seek help from a counselor or therapist, and not a new romantic partner.
Remember your new relationship can affect your future for many years, even if the relationship itself is over quickly. You should avoid risking a divorce settlement that could favor your or grant you equal rights. You may not choose when you meet someone special, but you can ensure that your divorce is resolved in a peaceful manner. Your divorce attorney can guide you through the process of your divorce, and can also provide you with advice to help you navigate your new relationship without harming your divorce.
Get Help with Your Texas Divorce Case Today – (817) 645-6600
Our experienced Cleburne divorce lawyer can help you through this difficult time. We offer the compassionate support and personalized client service that your family deserves. Our team at The Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell III will tailor fit your legal representation to suit your family's unique needs. Your divorce case should be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible and our dedicated, knowledgeable attorney has the skills to help you.
Contact The Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell III today for a free case evaluation. Call our offices at (817) 645-6600.