"Is it okay for me to date while my divorce is pending?" This is a question that not surprisingly comes up a lot. While the simple answer is: "You shouldn't date until your divorce is final." In life, it's not that simple.
When people are going through a divorce, they are often lonely and under a lot of stress. While some people just need time to be alone, others are longing to meet someone new and have fun again. So, a lot of people going through a divorce think that a date or two can't hurt.
If you don't want to wait until your divorce is final to start dating again, we suggest you proceed with caution and follow these tips.
What You Should and Should Not Do
Let's begin my clarifying "dating." Dating refers to one-on-one social contact with another individual. There isn't a distinction between a platonic contact and one that is romantic or sexual. However, from a legal standpoint, it's the romantic/sexual relationships that complicate a divorce.
Generally, divorce attorneys advise their clients to hold off on dating until after the divorce because it can lead to a more stressful and costly divorce.
While people aren't supposed to date while they are married, judges don't usually punish someone for dating, especially once they have physically separated from their spouse.
Still, the presence of a new relationship can cause a great deal of jealousy, and it can hurt the children and enrage a soon-to-be-ex spouse. It can also create the suspicion that there was an "affair" before the separation.
If you are going to date, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Don't even think about dating until you physically separate.
- Once you are separated, date with the utmost propriety, especially around your children. Don't do anything in front of your children that you wouldn't want to explain to a judge.
- Don't introduce your children to your new friend until after child custody is resolved, until after the divorce, and not until your children are ready.
- Don't get pregnant, or don't get someone else pregnant until your divorce is final. If you do, it'll prolong your case until after the baby is born and a paternity test can determine child custody and child support.
Looking for a Pennsylvania no fault divorce attorney? Call Cairns Law Offices to schedule your free consultation with a qualified member of our legal team!