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Can I Date Before I'm Divorced?

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 8-Aug-2016

We are frequently asked, "Can I date while my divorce is pending in the courts?" Since our firm deals with simple, uncontested, no-fault divorces, where a divorce can be achieved once the 90-day waiting period passes, it's often a better idea to wait it out, but we understand that it's not always that easy.

If you and your spouse agree to a no-fault divorce, that's great and the process should be relatively easy. However, during a divorce emotions are raw and something such as a new romantic relationship can complicate matters and cause unwanted delays.

If you're feeling lonely or anxious to date someone new, here are some things to consider:

1. Did your spouse suspect or accuse you of having an affair with this person before you separated? If so, your spouse can use this as evidence to avoid paying alimony or spousal support. Under Pennsylvania law, spouses waive their right to spousal support if they commit adultery.

2. If you are on good terms with your spouse and they learn about the new romantic relationship, and you have been separated for a short time, for example, less than six months, the new relationship can completely change the emotional dynamics of your divorce negotiations and the uncontested divorce can quickly turn contested.

3. If you have children, are you planning on exposing them to the person you want to date? If so, are your children emotionally ready for you to be in a new relationship? Are you certain this person has the moral character to be around your children? If this individual's character is questionable, your ex can use this as fuel to gain custody of your children or change the original child custody plan.

4. If your spouse has already begun dating, even though the divorce isn't finalized, and you want to date someone you have no history with, it's almost always acceptable to do so. Still, be cautious about introducing them to your children as they may not be ready, especially if they are over the age of five.

Every married couple's situation is different, and only you know how your spouse would react to you dating. If they had an affair and are still with that person, you may be more than ready to date yourself. Since it's a sensitive situation that can impact child custody and in some cases, alimony/spousal support, we recommend that you speak with a divorce attorney before you re-enter the dating scene.

Learn about our quick, affordable no-fault divorces – contact us today!