One of the most commonly asked questions from our clients is:
“Is it okay to date while going through a divorce?”
The simple answer we provide is usually, “Don’t rush into new romantic relationships until your case is resolved.” However, the divorce process can be anything but simple, and cases can drag out for months and even years. The end of a marriage may leave clients feeling lonely and stressed out beyond belief. It is also normal for divorcing clients to long for a new partner, to feel the excitement of meeting someone new, feeling liked again, and to have a good time. Dating apps and social media provide many opportunities.
That being said, dating during the divorce process is risky. If you have minor children, they may find out, and they can feel abandoned if they learn you have a new paramour. Your ex may also find out, and it may have repercussions on the case. It may intensify emotions during settlement negotiations. Your spouse may retaliate by going to court. There are too many downsides that can have immense negative impacts on your case.
Your Emotions May Be Constantly Changing
Divorce is a physically, mentally, and financially taxing venture for all parties involved. Even if you are the one who initiated the separation and feel as if it is the opportunity to start fresh, you may go through many emotional stages while trying to discover your true self. Give yourself time to settle in your new “single” life before getting back to the dating scene.
Negative Financial Impacts
Before dating during your divorce, be sure to talk with your New York family law attorney to find out more about how it can impact your case. If you move in with your new sweetheart before your divorce is finalized, it may affect:
- The way your property is divided
- The spousal support payment amount you receive
- Custody rights
Keeping Your Relationship with Your Soon-To-Be-Ex on Good Terms
In some situations, a divorcing client’s soon-to-be-ex may become jealous which could lead to them becoming uncooperative during negotiations. Your friends and neighbors will talk and gossip. Pictures of you “out on the town” may end up on social media. When the other spouse finds out that you’re back on the dating scene so quickly, their behavior may be vindictive. Even if your ex doesn’t want you back, he or she might not like the idea of the children being exposed to a new parental figure. Your ex may escalate the legal process by refusing to compromise, getting investigators involved, and even stating that there was an affair going on before the marital relationship ended. These things will all make it more challenging for your Long Island family law attorney to fight for what you’re entitled to.
When Children are Involved
When children are in the picture during divorce, dating should be a big no-no. You may be thinking “Dating someone would be great! They will be able to help with my children, and they can help fill the void.” However, your children need you to focus all of your attention on them, not your new relationship. Children typically take divorce much harder than adults, they often feel as if the relationship they had with their parents isn’t going to be the same after the split, and throwing a new face at them during this time may just make things worse.
When May I Resume Dating?
Speak to your New York Family Law attorney He or she will be in the best position to guide you during the early, sensitive stages of divorce negotiations. When custody issues have been resolved and put into writing, and the children have been stabilized, you might get the green light to go out and have fun. Generally speaking, you should not move in with a new paramour, or date openly, until the case is fully resolved.
Don’t start new romantic relationships if you’re not ready. Be sure to take into account your own mental health and your children’s feelings before getting back out on the market, or introducing your children to new “friends”. Working with a qualified New York family law attorney, like those on our team here at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, will help ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible so that you can get back to the next exciting chapter of your life.
For all questions and to schedule your free case evaluation, call us today (516) 773-8300. Let us help take you in the right direction.