In Florida, the answer to this question is technically yes. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. While dating during a divorce won’t get you into trouble with the law, it can get you into trouble with your ex. This can create animosity between the two of you, which typically leads to a longer and more miserable divorce proceeding.
Is Dating During Divorce Adultery?
Technically, you are still considered married until your divorce is finalized, so any relationship you have during your divorce can be considered adultery. Because Florida is a no-fault state for divorce, however, adultery should not impact your divorce. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If you spend money on a new relationship, for example, the court may reimburse your spouse, using your marital assets, before dividing the rest of your property.
Also, Florida courts evaluate the “moral fitness of the parents” when deciding the child’s best interest in custody battles. If you are dating someone while you are still married, even on a technicality, it is not a good look – especially if your former partner is waiting until the divorce is finalized to start dating. Your ex may even claim that you are prioritizing dating and new relationships over your children.
Other Ways Dating During Divorce Can Impact Your Children
When developing a parenting plan, former spouses are usually not considering the fact that new adults and partners will eventually be brought into their children’s lives. If you begin dating while creating this plan, though, that is all your ex is going to be thinking about. If your former partner is jealous or feels replaced, they will want to assert their presence in your shared family and are therefore less likely to give up time with your children. Additionally, your ex is likely have legitimate concerns about how your new romantic partner may affect your children. Make no mistake, these concerns will be heard by the court and the past conduct of your new partner will affect your custody battle. Finally, these feelings of jealousy and resentment may make it difficult for your ex and you to co-parent in the future.
Dating During Divorce Can Affect Your Spousal Support
If you are living with a new partner, you can forget about spousal support. Further, your child support may be reduced if you are splitting costs with someone new. Even if you’re not living together, your spouse may choose to pay spousal support in monthly installments instead of in a larger settlement sum. This is because he/she knows they are “off the hook” as soon as you move in with a new partner.
Dating During Divorce – Just Don’t Do It!
While dating during divorce may seem appealing, it is almost never worth it. In addition to affecting your divorce proceedings, it may have adverse psychological affects on you and those around you.
If you’ve already began dating during your divorce, or you just want to find out how to make your separation go as smoothly as possible, get advice from our divorce attorneys at Shuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC today. You can reach us at (561) 336-6082 or schedule a consultation online