Can I date during the divorce?

Going through a divorce is probably one of the most emotionally draining processes for the person going through this process. Often, some people may not see themselves in another relationship after going through a divorce, while others may use this to cope with the emotional roller coaster of divorce. One of the most common questions I am asked during the consultation process is, can I leave? My answer is usually No! that the person should wait until after the divorce is final. I even encourage the person to give themselves time to heal before moving on to another relationship. The reason for my advice not to leave while you are divorcing is that you do not want to give your soon-to-be ex-spouse additional reasons to add to your divorce filing. Although North Carolina is a no-fault state, allegations of adultery can be used to minimize alimony and equitable distribution of marital property.

Dating while going through a divorce can bring difficulties when it comes to negotiating during the divorce process. Dating, especially living together, can affect you financially, as you may find it difficult to justify your financial need for spousal support, especially if you live with your partner. Similarly, your ex-spouse may be jealous when they learn of your new relationship and, as a result, may delay negotiations or refuse to negotiate because they are upset/jealous. A delay in negotiations can cause a delay in finalizing your divorce case and an increase in attorney’s fees, which increases your financial burdens.

If you choose to date while going through a divorce, my advice would be to be discreet to avoid damage to your negotiations and, more importantly, your children.