The divorce process is difficult in many ways, but everyone deals with their divorce differently. While some people may feel emotionally overwhelmed, sad, upset, or confused, other people feel excited and ready to move forward with their lives. Some people even decide to move on by dating during their divorce. However, dating during divorce can come with its own set of risks and upsets.
If you are contemplating dating before your divorce is finalized, make sure you understand the potential issues. Before you decide to move into the dating world, consider the following ways in which dating during your divorce could impact you.
Preparing for the Divorce Process
The process of divorce can be extremely complicated as it is, but if you add your dating life into the mix, things can easily become more hostile and contentious. You might feel like dating helps you take control of your life, or perhaps you think you’ve met someone you truly care for and want to spend time with. These feelings can be extremely healthy and helpful when you are ready to move on, but it could complicate your divorce, too.
If your spouse discovers you are dating while you are still going through your divorce, he or she could become hurt, angry, or jealous. While you might think these responses will have no impact on you, regardless of how you feel about your spouse, these feelings can make for a more combative divorce. Whether you are divorcing through litigation or mediation, any discussions or negotiations involving both you and your spouse could become extremely argumentative and spiteful because of your spouse’s hurt feelings. From a practical standpoint, this can make your divorce more complicated, more lengthy, and in turn, more expensive. From an emotional standpoint, your divorce could become more stressful and much more painful.
Consider Your Children
Even if your kids say they understand that you are ready to date, the change could be a lot for them to deal with. Children, especially younger children, are resilient, but too much change too quickly can be extremely difficult to process and could lead to behavioral changes, anger, and feelings of confusion and hurt. If you truly believe dating is the best course of action for you, make sure you make your children a priority and listen to their feelings, making time for them. However, if they are uncomfortable with this new change, or are already having trouble adjusting to the divorce itself, it might be best to hold off on dating for the time being. Remember, your children are going through this divorce too, along with your spouse and yourself, so make sure their opinions and feelings are heard.
Potential Legal Implications
In some states, infidelity during a marriage, even after a divorce is filed, could count against the unfaithful spouse in court. This could result in less spousal support, or fewer assets when property division is discussed. However, even if your state does not recognize fault in divorce, these aspects could still be impacted by your choice to date during divorce. If your spouse is upset about your new dating life, he or she could become more contentious, leading to more drawn-out legal battles, or leading them to demand more assets or funds. While they might not succeed, they could certainly make the process more challenging.
Are You Ready?
Even if you feel ready to move on after you file for divorce, it might not be in your best interest to do so. Emotionally, it usually takes a while to process all of the feelings and responses involved in a divorce. Even if you are completely confident in your decision to divorce your spouse, you might still feel disappointed, upset, or sad for the loss of the life you thought you would share together. All of these feelings are normal and necessary, and if you move on too quickly, you might deny yourself the chance to process these feelings naturally and in your own time.
Before you decide to date during your divorce, make sure you think about how it could affect you, and discuss your options with your children, family, and your divorce lawyer.
To get started today, contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys and ask for a free consultation.