Can I Date During My Divorce? / by Cassandra Hearn

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Going through a divorce inevitably means change.  You will have to rearrange your finances, divide your property and debt, and maybe find a new house.  If you share children with your soon to be former spouse, you will also need to adjust to a new parenting schedule.  In short, your day to day life may be significantly transformed.  This type of change may also mean that you meet someone new and want to start dating again.  Especially where a divorce has dragged on for months or even years, it is common for spouses to be ready to move on emotionally even when they are still technically married.  This leads many people to wonder if they can start dating someone new even during the divorce. California is a no fault state.  This means that committing adultery will not be directly considered when deciding whether the divorce will be granted.  There are some other issues that you need to consider, however, before jumping into a new relationship while your divorce is still pending. 

First, if you share children with your spouse, exposing your children to your new significant other too soon can weigh against you in a child custody battle.  While courts do not expect the spouses to remain single forever, introducing the children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend too soon can interrupt the children’s sense of stability.  Another serious mistake is telling the children that a new boyfriend or girlfriend will be their “new mom” or “new dad.”  If you are dating, it is also important to make absolutely sure that your new significant other is a suitable person to be around your children, meaning no serious criminal history or substance abuse problems.

Next, although adultery does not have a direct impact on spousal support or property division, it can come into play if you are dissipating marital assets as a direct result of your new relationship.  For example, if you are buying expensive jewelry or spending huge amounts on lavish vacations with your new significant other, this could mean your spouse has an argument that you are intentionally squandering marital assets and should not receive half of the remaining marital estate.

Finally, if you are getting very serious and intend to move in with your new significant other, understand that this could impact a spousal support inquiry.  Especially if you are the spouse requesting spousal support, the court will look at whether this new living arrangement means you do not actually need any support.

We have experience helping our clients to understand their rights and responsibilities through all stages of the divorce process.  Call us today to talk about your case at 619-800-0384.