The divorce process can be a difficult experience, especially when it comes to wanting a new life and finding a new partner. While it is healthy and natural for divorcees to start new relationships, dating during divorce can have some repercussions during a legal case. This is generally why most family law attorneys advise clients to wait until a divorce is finalized before openly dating.
At Dummit Fradin, we receive many questions about what clients should and should not do during their ongoing divorce. Because we work closely with clients, we take the time to address their concerns and questions and provide our experienced insight so that they have the tools to make informed decisions. In the case of dating during divorce, this means discussing how a dating relationship can potentially impact their case.
Below are three examples of how dating during divorce can impact a case. Remember that all cases are different and that the unique facts of your case play the biggest role in how things may shape up during the legal process.
1. A new dating relationship may be considered in court
While some states may not weigh a dating relationship very heavily during divorce proceedings, it can become an issue in North Carolina. Courts here may consider a dating relationship when making certain determinations related to divorce, including alimony, child custody, and in some cases division of property. Some dating relationships may not impact a court’s decisions, but others may result in the other spouse arguing that the relationship amounted to adultery.
2. Dating during divorce could result in heightened conflict
Divorce proceedings are rife with emotional turbulence, and introducing a new partner into the mix can have consequences that extend from outside the courtroom into the case itself. This is true of cases where spouses may lose their temper or act vindictively in elevating conflict during a case, sometimes to the point of arguing that the relationship constituted adultery. At times when resolving issues amicably can make for much smoother proceedings, it is often wise to consider whether a dating relationship could cause your former spouse to become more confrontational and make the case more difficult.
3. A new partner could impact child custody arrangements
Divorces involve more than two separating spouses when children are involved. By entering into a new dating relationship, or even cohabitating with a new partner before a divorce is finalized, child custody arrangements may be affected. This includes cases in which older children may express wishes to live with a different parent because they do not like a parent’s new partner, as well as heightened conflict from a parent who is less willing to compromise on child custody when a new partner enters the picture.
Each Divorce Case is Different
While you have the right to make any decisions you wish about your personal life, it is always wise to consider the potential consequences of your actions, especially when it comes to dating a new partner while a divorce is still in progress. Because all cases are unique and every situation different, it is best to discuss how dating may impact your unique divorce case.
At Dummit Fradin, our divorce attorneys are available to help clients across North Carolina learn more about the divorce process and their unique concerns. During an initial consultation, we can also answer any questions you may have about beginning the process, what to expect, and whether dating in your situation could impact your case. To discuss your case with a member of our team, contact us today.