The Legal Downside of Dating during Divorce

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There is nothing wrong with dating. But if you are currently going through a divorce, it is a different story.

There is nothing wrong with dating. But if you are currently going through a divorce, it is a different story. Dating during divorce has several detrimental effects on the legal proceedings of your case. That is why it should be avoided as much as possible. For you to realize how devastating it is to date while your divorce is pending, here are some of the legal implications that you should be aware of. 

Effect on Child Custody Issues

Most of the time, dating during a divorce creates a negative impression on the judges who determine child custody and parenting time.  Dating signifies lack of empathy and insensitivity toward the children’s feelings.  Also, you could be considered as a poor role model for your children.  The dating parent can be perceived as a self-centered person who does not consider the impact of his or her actions on the children.  This is why in a custody battle, dating can cause the other parent to win the favor.  Aside from that, you could also be awarded less parenting time. 

Child and Spousal Support Implications

Dating per se does not negatively affect child or spousal support. However, if you move in with your new partner, it will certainly have an adverse impact.

Since you are sharing expenditures with your new partner such as house payment, utilities and the like, the court will have the perception that you have more money available to pay spousal and child support. If you decide to live with someone while you have a pending spousal or child support case, it could cost you thousands of dollars.  

On the other hand, if you are the person who is more likely to be awarded a spousal or child support, living with a new partner and sharing expenses indicates that you do not need as much spousal or child support.  Sometimes, you will not be awarded spousal or child support at all because of this.

Effect on Property Distribution 

Living with someone during the divorce can serve as a factor in determining decisions about property division.  Living with someone and sharing expenses with that person suggests that you are more financially stable than having to live alone and having to pay all of your own expenses.  Because of this, property division issues may be resolved by the court in favor of your spouse. Because of your improved financial status, a judge may conclude that you either can afford to pay higher amount of money to your spouse or your spouse should pay less money to you as property division judgment. 

It is certainly not an advisable thing to date during divorce and to live with a new partner during a divorce.  If you cannot avoid dating, you should at least be as discreet as possible. Before introducing your new partner to your children, you should wait for a reasonable time after the divorce process is done to give ample time to your children to adjust with the situation. The most important thing is to understand the possible consequences of your actions and to be accountable for the decisions you make.

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By: Jess Lorinter
Joseph Carter

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