Maybe you “checked out” emotionally on your marriage years before the divorce papers were filed. Maybe you’re looking for a little validation that you’re still attractive. Maybe you’re just lonely. Whatever the reason, you’d like to start dating. Is it really necessary to wait until the divorce is final?
Even though you’re ready to heal your wounded heart, it’s better to wait. Here’s how dating can make your divorce process a lot harder:
- You can escalate tensions with your soon-to-be-ex. It’s best when both parties are able to work together to settle the division of their assets and other issues with a minimum of fighting. If your new relationship triggers your spouse’s anger or makes them feel betrayed, any hope of an amicable divorce may go out the window.
- You could damage your custody case. Your spouse may be looking for an opportunity to spin the narrative on your divorce and paint you as someone who is only concerned about themselves and not committed to parenting.
- You could damage your relationship with your children. Your kids may feel that you’ve moved on too soon and resent your new partner’s role in your life. They may also feel like you’re betraying their other parent and blame you unfairly for the disruptions in their lives and the breakup of the family.
- You could be accused of wasting marital funds. If you took a trip with a new love, it could be considered a “waste” of assets your spouse considers partly theirs if you used any marital assets on it. So could any expensive gifts. That could give your spouse an edge when it comes time to divide what’s left.
Ultimately, there’s no hard-and-fast rule that says that you can’t date during your divorce. Every situation is unique. However, it is something you should probably talk to your attorney about before you start.