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Should You Start Dating Before Your Divorce is Finalized?


It is perfectly legal to date while you are going through a divorce in Florida—but should you? This is a separate question quite apart from the legality or propriety of doing so.

A divorce can take a long time, sometimes more than a year, and many people are eager to jump back in the dating pool. However, dating could have some adverse effects on your divorce. It might also encourage you to make poor decisions that could harm you in the future. Whether you should start dating before you have a divorce decree in hand is up to you, but our Jupiter divorce lawyer walks through some important considerations.

Dating Could Impact Child Custody

A judge decides time-sharing plans based on what is in the child’s best interests. Fla. Stat. § 61.13(3) lays out various factors a judge should consider, but this type of analysis could conceivably include almost anything a judge decides is relevant. And, for our purposes, the other parent could argue that your dating is not in the child’s best interests.

For example, you might have your new paramour living with you, and the introduction of a new person could be destabilizing for your child. What’s worse, your new partner could have issues, such as a criminal history or a drug addiction, so a judge might find that he or she is endangering your children.

If you are spending a lot of time with your new love, the judge could find that you are neglecting your child. Consequently, you might get less time with your children. Of course, many of these allegations might be unfounded, but a judge might believe there is a grain of truth.

You Could Receive Less Marital Property

Adultery does not play a role in how a judge divides your marital estate. However, if you spend a lot of money on a new boyfriend or girlfriend, then the judge might conclude you are wasting marital assets.

For example, you might withdraw $20,000 from a savings account to treat your new girlfriend to a Vegas trip. But the account could be considered marital. Spending money like this on a non-family member could be seen as wasteful.

Other men and women might be so anxious to finally divorce so that they can be with their new love that they readily agree to a property division that is unfair to them. This type of emotional, impulsive decision-making increases when people enter new relationships and is a big reason to caution against them.

The Divorce Could Take Longer

Few people are thrilled to see their spouse in a new relationship. This is doubly true if your new love played a role in your decision to divorce. With tensions high, your spouse could dig in and try to make the divorce as painful as possible. This might include contesting everything and dragging out the divorce hearing.

Nobody should give a soon-to-be-ex veto power over how they live. However, if you want to maintain cordial relations during divorce, then delaying a new romantic relationship might be best.

Speak with a Jupiter Divorce Lawyer about Your Concerns

Before jumping into the dating pool, consider the impact it might have on your divorce. Jupiter divorce lawyer Caroline Olson, P.A. has represented many men and women in divorce proceedings, and we can strategize about the best way to get a divorce that works for you. We serve Jupiter, Boca Raton, and Plantation. Our initial consultations are free.


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