Dating while waiting for divorce

The other spouse, if they are not dating, may develop the idea that the dating spouse was committing adultery even if that idea hadn't surfaced before.

Or, the other spouse may simply suffer anger and hurt as a result of the limited amount of time it apparently took the dating spouse to recover and move on.

That's why it's so important to speak to your lawyer if you plan to or have already begun a relationship during your separation.

Dating during separation may not be a big deal, depending on where you live, but it is best if you wait until your divorce is finalized.

The cheating spouse and the third party do not necessarily even have to have a sexual relationship – in some places, a family member who convinces one spouse to leave the other might be liable for alienation of affection (though this is very uncommon).

Another, even less common, suit is one for "criminal conversation." In a criminal conversation suit, the wronged spouse again sues, but for the suit to proceed there must have been a sexual relationship.

For example, the judge might disapprove of the dating spouse's behavior and develop a bias against them.

While such a bias is ostensibly unacceptable in the U. legal system, judges are human and biases are natural and even probable in some instances.

In some states, the spurned spouse can sue for "alienation of affection." An alienation of affection suit is when a spouse who was cheated on sues a third party essentially for stealing the other spouse and breaking up the marriage.

A divorce and the prospect of a new partner replacing them is often too much for a spouse to cope with, and may cause disagreements and unwillingness to come to a compromise with regard to custody arrangements.

When left up to the court, the judge will make a determination as to which parent should have primary physical and legal custody based on the best interests of the children, and if there is a real or perceived discomfort with the new parter experienced by the children, it is very likely to effect the amount of time each parent and particularly the dating parent is awarded.

In spite of my advice, clients do date during their divorce.

I tell my clients it’s not a good idea to date until the divorce is final – there are too many complications.

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