When can I start dating?

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Whether you are newly separated or have been separated from your spouse for a period of time, one frequent question that comes up is: When can I start dating?  Some people have no intention of dating but are just curious to find out if you have to wait until your divorce is finalized to start dating.  Then there are those who can’t wait to dive back into the dating pool and when the question is asked, it means that he or she has started dating already and want to make sure it’s okay.

If you are truly separated from your spouse and you have no intention of resuming the marital relationship, you can start dating.  However, be aware that your spouse can use the fact that you’re now dating someone to try to infer that this relationship was ongoing prior to your separation.  While every scenario is different and it is a complex issue, proof of an affair will have negative legal consequences for you.

If you can, wait.  Dating someone may cause your spouse to not be as cooperative in dealing with the divorce.  It may cause him or her to view everything differently and believe this new person is the reason your marriage is over.  While you both know that dating is a reality in the future, it will likely cause problems in resolving your case if it happens before an agreement is reached.  Understandably, there are many reasons people want to date again.  Depending on your marriage, you may not have received the love and attention you’ve needed for years.  Dating someone new is a way of getting this need fulfilled.  However, there are just as many negative consequences.   If you have children, they will need time to adjust to life with mom and dad living separately.  It may cause tension or confusion if they are introduced to a new boyfriend or girlfriend.  If you are just recently separated, you may or may not be ready to start dating.  You may need time to heal and to adjust to being single.  Once some time has passed, you should consider dating again.  Even when clients swear off ever dating again at the beginning of their separation, that usually changes.  If you’re not certain if dating will have a negative effect on your case, have a conversation with you attorney.  Just make sure it’s before you start dating.

If you have questions or concerns relating to the topic of this article or any other divorce related legal issue, please reach out to us at 704-243-9693 or at www.coxlawfirm.com.

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