Absolutely nothing is stated in the law to prevent someone who is separated from dating whomever they please. A more educated answer (and the careful answer) to this dating question depends on the facts, as outlined in the various fact patterns below. If you have children and are planning to expose the children to someone you intend to date, you should be sure this person has the character and moral qualities of someone you are willing to have around your children.If you find that you just can’t wait until your divorce is final to start dating again, this article provides a few “do’s and don’ts” of dating before you are divorced.Unfortunately, there is more that you shouldn’t do than should, but first let’s clarify what is meant by “dating.” Legally, “dating” means one-on-one social contact with another person.
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So, many clients decide that just one date can’t hurt.
Even so, the presence of someone new, particularly when paraded in front of the spouse and/or children, can enrage the soon-to-be ex, and also create the suspicion that the relationship began as an “affair” before the separation.
The innocent new friend can be deposed by the other side’s lawyer (that is, asked questions that are taken under oath and recorded by a stenographer or even videotaped) and subpoenaed to testify at trial.
This is a question I am frequently asked; and although the technically correct answer is “yes,” my advice is usually “NO!
” Such advice, however, bears further clarification of context, as follows.
The purpose is to determine exactly when the relationship began, whether it is sexual, whether any marital property has been transferred to the new friend, such as by gift, how much money was spent on dating this person, and whether the spouse has said anything that could be used against him or her at trial.
Even if everything is on the up-and-up, the result is a lot of unnecessary aggravation and cost.
There is no distinction between platonic contacts and ones that are romantic or sexual, although from a practical standpoint, the romantic/sexual relationships are the ones that draw scrutiny and cause complications.
The reason divorce lawyers counsel against dating while the divorce is pending, even if separated, is that it has the potential to increase both the cost and the stress of the divorce trial. Judges, however, rarely punish someone who begins dating – sexually or otherwise – once they have physically separated from their spouse.