Potential Complications When Dating During the Divorce Process
It’s not unusual for a separated spouse to reenter the dating scene before their divorce is officially finalized. People move on, it’s natural, but it’s also undeniable that the timing of a new relationship can impact one’s divorce process. If you are considering dating during the divorce process, it is essential that you consider the potential complications. Below, the divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss these potential complications and how they could impact your divorce case.
Extend the Finalization of Your Divorce
Unfortunately, when it comes to openly dating during a divorce, especially prior to reaching a formalized settlement agreement, there could more legal downsides than there are upsides. Most lawyers counsel against dating openly while the divorce is pending even if the couple is technically separated. Dating during a pending divorce could add unnecessary aggravation and stress if the opposing spouse takes issue with the dating spouse’s behavior which can lead to a more complicated and prolonged divorce process.
In Maryland, there is no status of “legal separation” therefore you are either married or unmarried (post-divorce). If you are having an intimate sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse before your divorce is finalized, it may be considered adultery— which interestingly remains a criminal misdemeanor in Maryland. If the adultery itself is directly associated with the cause of the breakup of the marriage, the adultery may impact the Court’s decision as to alimony to be paid or received by a party, or the monetary award to be paid or received by a party.
Impact on Children
Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be especially difficult for the children. Introducing new relationships during an already confusing time can be challenging for children, who are already trying to process the loss of their family as they know it. While the parents may have grieved the loss of their marriage over time leading up to separation and be further along in the process by the time the children are made aware of their parent’s decision, the children will likely be struggling with the breakdown of their family unit, processing that loss, and adjusting in different ways depending on their developmental stages for some time after separation. Kids often need time to adapt and settle into a new normal before more change is thrown their way. It is essential that you do not overlook your children’s emotions and how they can impact the outcome of a divorce as well.
To build further on the last point, adding a new partner to a pending divorce can fuel disagreements in conversations related to co-parenting and child custody. Your ex may be concerned about your child spending time with your new partner, get into conflict with your new partner, or take issue with your choice of a new partner, which might reflect poorly in your custody case and lead to further complications that would have otherwise been avoidable.
Speak To A Divorce Attorney At Rodier Family Law Today
Here at Rodier Family Law, we want to guide you in the right direction to ensure that your divorce process goes smoothly. Call (410) 803-1839 to schedule a consultation with an expert attorney if you are seeking legal advice for a divorce.