A divorce is a way of closing one chapter of your life and starting a new one. But if you start moving forward with that next chapter by dating while your divorce is still pending, will you have the book thrown at you?
It is hardly uncommon for separated couples to begin dating and embark on new relationships before a judgment of divorce is signed. In and of itself, seeing other people during divorce proceedings won’t necessarily have a negative impact on decisions made by a divorce court. That doesn’t mean, however, that the desire to pursue new romantic opportunities can’t create problems.
Dating while your divorce is still pending can increase the animosity between you and your soon-to-be former spouse. This can make it much more difficult to reach resolutions on disputed issues or cause him or her to take positions out of spite.
Similarly, a new beau can create tension with your children. It could alienate them and impact their preferences when it comes to custody matters. Your child’s preferences regarding custody may in fact be taken into consideration by a judge in making custody decisions.
If your dating efforts or new relationship make it appear as though you are putting your own interests ahead of those of your children, that could in fact color a judge’s perceptions as to your priorities. Extended time away from your kids and other behavior which demonstrates a disregard for the emotional well-being of your children could impact visitation and custody rulings.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether to enter into a new relationship before the ink is dry on your divorce is yours and yours alone. While dating doesn’t necessarily spell doom in your divorce, the choices you make in this regard should be taken with great consideration and discretion.
At Clement Law, we provide trusted counsel and effective advocacy to individuals in New York and New Jersey going through the transition of divorce. While thorough and aggressive, we help clients resolve their cases in novel and creative ways in order to minimize strife and reach a positive resolution. If you’d like to discuss any issues relating to divorce, please give us a call at (212) 683-9551 or fill out our online form to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to assisting you.