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Mr. Hammond served
in Afghanistan and Iraq,
where he received 9 medals including a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He has been practicing law since 1996 with an exclusive focus on military law, criminal law, and family law.

Is Dating During Your Divorce a Good Idea?

If you’re in the middle of a divorce, your marriage may be all over as far as you’re concerned, and you may decide to move on and begin dating. It’s important to understand that dating before your divorce is through, however, isn’t advisable. This article talks about why this should be so.

Divorce proceedings can take time to run their course. As your case makes its way through court, you may wish to carry on with your life — maybe go out on a date with someone new. If you’re already living apart from your spouse, it may seem like dating someone else shouldn’t be a problem. Legally, however, your divorce needs to fully go through before you can safely go out on dates.

It’s important to understand that in the state of Georgia, separation isn’t a legally recognized status. As long as your divorce from your current spouse doesn’t officially conclude, you are considered fully married. If you go out on a date or sleep with someone else, it could be portrayed by your spouse in court as marital misconduct or adultery. Different judges take different views of such activity. Some, for example, are known to alter asset division plans in response to information about one of the spouses dating during divorce. Dating becomes even more complicated if there are children involved in the divorce. The short answer to the question of dating during divorce, is that it isn’t advisable.

There are additional reasons why dating during divorce is a bad idea

A possible accusation of marital misconduct isn’t the only reason to stay clear of dating activity during divorce. If your spouse finds out about your dating, they could portray your relationship as the very reason your marriage failed. It may introduce tensions during the divorce. Tensions may lead to uncooperative behavior just when you need to be on the same page together to determine asset division, and alimony. In addition, you are likely to find that introducing your romantic relationships into your divorce proceedings causes difficulties just when the court begins to decide on the amount of custodial and parenting time to be granted.

Unexpected complications may arise, as well

While you may not anticipate it, in some cases, romantic partners are known to insist on being included in divorce proceedings. It is known to happen sometimes, and can complicate divorce efforts.

Your dating activity could affect alimony or child custody decisions

Dating during divorce could anger your spouse, and make them claim in court that your new relationship began during the marriage. This could affect the way the judge in your case determines your eligibility for alimony.

Your spouse could also make the point in court that the presence of your new romantic partner in your life makes your home an unfit environment for your children. Many parenting plans prepared by the courts tend to have stipulations included that no non-relatives be present overnight in the same home as the children.

As an experienced attorney is likely to tell you, dating while you’re going through a divorce is an unnecessary complication that can affect your case in unpredictable ways, especially if there are children involved. However, every case is different. If you find yourself in this situation, it would be a good idea to talk to your divorce lawyer about it before you begin dating.