Dating During Divorce Proceedings

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Divorce is an incident in one's life involving a mix of emotions. In this emotional phase, when one of the spouses starts dating during divorce proceedings, things become even more worse. While it may give a kind of relief to the spouse in a new partner's company, the other innocent partner and the children( if any) are devastated. Dating has a definite detrimental impact on the person performing it in the following ways -

  • Court may punish and put more financial burden on the ground of hurting the feelings of the innocent spouse
  • There could be possibility of giving less preference in terms of child custody or visitation

Each State law in US differs from the other. The marriage is considered to be legal until the divorce is finalized. In most of the states, if a spouse dates during divorce, it may be looked upon as marital misconduct. Thus, It is strongly recommended that during divorce proceedings, dating should be prevented.

Personal effects of Dating during Divorce Proceedings

  • A person experiences considerable psychological and emotional changes while the divorce is pending and for several months after it is over. It is observed that every few weeks, the perspective of this person on life and relationships may alter. So, this is not the proper time to make major life decisions
  • All people are usually aware of the perils of rebound relationships. It is not wise to get in this situation particularly when there can be a negative impact on various levels
  • The children are alienated from the parent who is dating. In some cases, this alienation is irreparable. The children develop an opinion that the parent who is dating has abandoned the other parent. Hence, they experience sympathy for the other parent and align with him/her. Moreover, the children feel that they should not accept the person with whom their parent had a date. Surprisingly, if the parent had stopped dating till the divorce gets over and then had begun dating, there is more possibility that the children would have accepted the new person
  • If a person begins dating during divorce, his/her spouse may become irrational and have a wish to take revenge. This spouse may use this dating as a proof that the divorce resulted due to this new friendship. In such a situation, it is not of any significance whether the anger of the spouse regarding the dating is fair or otherwise. Due to this anger, a case which could have been settled inexpensively, amicably and easily gets transformed to a very exorbitant, acrimonious and tough conflict
  • If the divorce case has been filed on no-fault grounds, he/she will longer continue to accept no-fault ground
  • Can hamper probable cooperative post-divorce relationship and parenting issues

Legal effects of Dating during Divorce Proceedings

  • It is in the best interest of any spouse seeking divorce, that the judge admires and respects this spouse. Dating may have an adverse effect on the children and this may malign the perspective of the judge towards you

  • If you are living with another person during divorce and sharing the expenditure with this person, the judge concludes that you are in a better financial position. If you were living alone and disbursing all your expenses, the judge would view you differently. The judge might decide that due to the improved financial condition, the property distribution must be solved in favor of your spouse

  • Let us assume that you are the person who could possibly be awarded spousal support. If you begin sharing expenses, the judge might decide that you do not need as much spousal support. This might result in decreased spousal support and in some cases, revocation of the spousal support award
  • In case of the child support award, if the obligee is residing with another person, this may result in reduction of child support. If the obligor is residing with another person, the child support obligation may be increased

  • Dating affects child custody. The children simply deny being with you in custody. During parenting time also, the children refuse to accompany you when your friend is around

Finally, it can be concluded that dating during divorce proceedings is not a desirable option for an individual. This may only result in more legal and emotional complications where there is a possibility of increased conflicts, time and cost. Especially it is always better to keep the children out of the matter as it may be confusing to them. Once the divorce is finalized, one may be free to move on in life and live a life of his/her own choice.

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