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When it comes to dating and divorce, our clients are broken down into two categories: 1) those who want to wait until after the divorce is final, and 2) those who can’t wait to jump back into the dating game.

Ideally, everybody would fall into the first group but we’d be foolish to ignore the fact that a lot of people want to start dating shortly after the one-year separation starts ticking. Often, they’ve been in empty, loveless marriages for years and they crave some attention or they simply want to have some fun.

If you want to start dating but you’re still technically married, there are some do’s and don’ts that you want to learn about. Because, if you mishandle the situation, you can quickly anger your spouse and suddenly, your cheap, no-fault divorce gets ugly and nobody wants that.

Here’s our advice on how to date intelligently during a divorce:

  • Do not start dating until you are definitely separated. This means no hooking up on Tinder, OkCupid, or Hinge until after you live under separate roofs. If you start dating while your spouse is sleeping on the couch or in the guest bedroom, he or she could argue that you committed adultery. To keep things simple, refrain from having any digital communications with “prospects” until you’re clearly separated.
  • Do not introduce your dates to your children and only bring them home when your kids are at your ex’s house. Delay introductions until after the divorce and when you’re in a committed relationship.
  • Avoid having dates at places where you might run into your soon-to-be ex. An accidental encounter could send your spouse into a jealous rage and complicate your divorce.
  • When you do go out on a date, be respectful and don’t hide the fact that you’re getting a divorce or that you have kids. It’s not fair to lie to your date, especially if things later become more serious.
  • Do not post pictures of your dates on social media during the divorce. This is disrespectful to your spouse and your marriage. Hold off on posting any such pictures until the divorce is official. Also, don’t change your Facebook status to “single” until you legally are.
  • If your spouse starts dating, respect their privacy and keep it cool. You don’t want to come across as a jealous ex. You’re released so be released.

Related: Your Guide to Surviving Divorce

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