Now that your marriage is over and you are in the process of getting a divorce, you might want to explore the dating scene to embark on this new chapter in your life. However, dating before your divorce is officially finalized might impact the outcome of your case. Before you start dating again, consider the consequences you might face from doing so and what it might cost you. Read on to learn more about how re-entering the dating pool could play a negative role in your divorce.
The Division of Property and Assets
When dividing assets during the divorce process, the ultimate goal is for both spouses to walk away with a fair share of the financial pie and to ensure that each is able to maintain a lifestyle equivalent to what was enjoyed throughout the marriage. While dating in itself does not necessarily impact this aspect of divorce, cohabitation with a new partner might convince a judge that the dating spouse does not need as much spousal support as he or she would if living alone.
Another way in which dating might affect the division of property and assets is if the dating spouse began paying for expensive dates, vacations, gifts, and more, running up debts on joint credit cards. This would likely be considered a wasteful dissipation of assets, resulting in a reduced share of the marital assets for the dating spouse, so that the other spouse can have a greater share to make up for the losses.
Child Custody and Visitation
The court will always put the best interests of the children above the concerns or wishes of either parent. As such, dating during a divorce might complicate matters and impact the court’s decision regarding child custody and visitation rights. Of course, this does not mean dating will automatically result in disaster. The key pieces any court will examine is whether or not a child’s safety or well-being is being jeopardized. If you have a new partner that causes the children discomfort, or you are involved in a string of unhealthy relationships that do not support the best interests of your children, the court will take this into consideration.
Even if you are not involved in any serious relationships, your ex’s attorney might argue that it seems you are more preoccupied with your dating life than you are on caring for your children, which can surely damage your cause. Additionally, while the court does not typically allow the feelings or opinions of children to dictate the outcome of a child custody case, they might listen to what they have to say regarding your new partner or dating lifestyle.
Child Support and Spousal Support
Just as cohabitating with a new partner can potentially impact the division of assets, it can also impact child support and spousal support. Cohabitating with a new partner inevitably changes your financial circumstances since couples tend to combine financial resources. If you are sharing expenses with your new partner, this could reduce the amount of child support you receive.
When it comes to spousal support, the same logic applies. By splitting expenses with another person, the court might not perceive your needs for spousal support to not be quite as great as they would be without the extra help.
Added Conflict in the Divorce Process
Divorce is an emotional experience and this topic would not be complete without addressing the human element of this situation. When your ex sees you with a new partner before the divorce is even finalized, this will undoubtedly hurt his or her feelings or further build resentment and anger. Face it, this is not just some distant business transaction, or contract coming to an end. This is a very personal, sensitive, and intense experience that can easily become that much more heated once your former partner sees you with someone new. As a result, he or she might become more resistant to negotiations even on issues you never expected to face opposition on.
Re-entering the dating scene is an important step for divorcees who have a desire to find companionship once again. Instead of rushing into it, take the time to consider your actions, especially since they might alter your future.
Experienced Placer County Divorce Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Keegan & Myers PC, we understand the emotional complexities of the divorce process and are here to help you through the legal process of it. Due to the sensitive issues and high-stakes nature of these types of cases, one should never attempt to face these issues alone. With over 25 years of combined legal experience in various levels of court and mediation, you can be confident that our Placer County divorce attorneys will be able to effectively represent you and protect your interests.
Contact our office today at (916) 634-0067 to schedule a consultation.