Should You Date During Divorce?

By Daniel H Moss, Attorney

Navigating through the divorce process can be confusing. It can be difficult to know the steps to take before, during and after your divorce. Adding dating to the mix can bring on a host of new questions that you will want to consider.

Dating during the divorce process may impact the outcome.
Dating before your divorce is finalized could potentially have a negative impact on the outcome, especially in the case of child custody or spousal support. If you decide to date during the divorce process, you should discuss this with your attorney and provide any details that might be pertinent to your case. Above all else, BE DISCREET. Whether or not a third party led to the divorce, your spouse might think so. This might create unnecessary animosity and emotional overlay which makes the divorce harder to settle. For the same reason, never expose your children to people you date while the divorce is pending.

Are you ready?
It may seem like a relief to have finally started the divorce process. Often, there’s a newfound feeling of freedom during this stage, but be careful not to dive into dating until you are ready. During the divorce process, there can be many emotional highs and lows, so you may want to avoid making any quick decisions regarding new relationships during this time. Take stock of your emotional state so that you can heal from the impact of your divorce. It usually takes about two years after divorce to emotionally settle down and be mature enough for a serious relationship.

What about the kids?
If you have children, the idea of bringing someone new into their lives should be taken very seriously, especially before the divorce is final and they’ve had time to adjust to their new situation. Even if you are emotionally ready for a new relationship in your life, they may not be. Always remember that you are divorcing your spouse, your children are not, and they will require extra care both during and after the split.

How will it impact co-parenting?
If you begin dating before your divorce is over – or even afterwards – you’ll want to consider your co-parenting arrangements. Even though you and your spouse are parting ways, you are still linked through your children and your co-parenting roles. Bringing a third party into the mix who might also be seen as a parental figure can damage the delicate relationship between you and your ex. It’s not always easy but try to think how the other person might feel. If possible, discuss the situation with your ex to come up with an agreeable arrangement.

This information is intended to provide some general information. It is not intended to answer specific questions about a particular case, as each case is different.

If you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].