Can Dating Someone New Before Finalizing My Divorce Be Used Against Me In Court?

unhappy judgeIt’s not unusual for a person to meet someone new while going through a divorce, especially if the divorce proceedings take longer than a few months. When a divorce drags on in the courts for years, it’s only natural for one or both spouses to want to get on with their lives and potentially start a relationship with someone new.

However, it’s good to think about whether or not this action can affect you during your divorce proceedings especially if you’re going through a contentious divorce. Some spouses will use anything against their soon-to-be ex-wife or ex-husband, even a few innocent dates with someone else. Consider a few important factors about dating during a divorce.

Still Legally Married

People often don’t realize that until their divorce is actually final, they are still legally married even if they’re legally separated and have been separated for a long time. Entering into a sexual relationship with someone during this time is legally considered adultery.

Many states have what are called no-fault divorce laws meaning that the courts aren’t concerned with why a couple is divorcing, but for states that don’t have these laws, adultery can affect alimony payments and property distribution. It may be used against you in court for these reasons and cost you quite a bit of money and property, depending on the laws in your state.

Affecting Negotiations

If you’re trying to negotiate a settlement with your spouse when it comes to your divorce, dating someone new can also affect those negotiations. He or she may not be emotionally ready to move on and seeing you dating again can cause hurt feelings and anger, and they may take this out on you by delaying negotiations, rescinding on previous agreements, or demanding more property and money or time with the children for themselves. This can make your divorce take much longer than it should and also cost you if you decide to give in to their demands simply to get the divorce over and done with.

When going through a divorce it’s always good to speak to your lawyer about any matter that might affect the outcome including dating someone new. Remember that laws vary from location to location. He or she can tell you if the relationship might affect your divorce proceedings and the best way to proceed.