Divorce can be a difficult chapter in one’s life. A question often asked during this time is whether legal separation and dating are compatible. It may be tempting for one or both of the parties to begin dating while separated in response to the stresses of divorce, the desire for companionship during this difficult time, or the need to have fun again with someone. Most divorce lawyers advise against dating while a divorce is pending, even if the couple is legally separated, because dating while separated in NYC can potentially add to the stress and cost of the legal proceeding.
Legal Separation and Dating
Although judges rarely punish someone who dates while physically separated from a soon-to-be former spouse, dating is not supposed to occur while still married. Similarly, introducing someone new to the divorcing spouse – or the children for that matter – may create the suspicion that marital misconduct occurred prior to the legal separation. Moreover, the new individual brought into the picture may be deposed by opposing counsel and even subpoenaed to testify at the divorce trial.
According to a New York divorce lawyer, the reasoning behind this is to investigate and prove whether or not any misconduct occurred during the marriage or separation, including transfer of marital property, gifting of marital assets, money spent while dating, and even conversations had that may be used in court against either spouse. As such, it is in the best interest of the parties to file a legal separation, which is a contract between the feuding spouses drafted by an experienced and competent divorce lawyer, in which the parties agree to the particularities of the separation, including who will pay what bills, with whom the children will live and if child support will be paid, among other issues. A separation agreement, in some circumstances, may be the basis for the divorce.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
According to a New York divorce lawyer, here are some guidelines if you’re dating while separated:
- DON’T start dating, even if your soon-to-be former spouse agreed that the marriage is over, until you are physically separated. Otherwise, the actions taken during this time could be counted against you during divorce proceedings.
- DO keep the new person out of the children’s lives as much as possible. Similarly, public displays of affection should be kept minimal and modest. Doing so will diminish pain for everyone and avoid impinging on future custody rights.
- DO find a support group to help with coping during this emotional and stressful time in life. Being around others will help keep feelings of isolation at bay and maintain relationships that are not one-on-one.
Contact a Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer
If you or someone you know is considering separation or divorce, contact an experienced divorce lawyer today to help with the process. Alatsas Law Firm are Brooklyn divorce lawyers have years of experience in family law matters and will help protect your interests during this difficult time. Call us today at (718)-233-2903.