Whether or not one should date during divorce proceedings is definitely a question of scruples. A person may do so to recover some measure of revenge against their soon-to-be ex-spouse, or it may be step in maintaining one’s self-esteem and sense of desirability. Regardless of the reasons, dating or even having an intimate relationship during a divorce could have unintended consequences, especially where children are involved.
As such, this post will highlight a few questions divorcing parents may want to ask themselves before delving into any new relationship.
Who should know? – Drawing boundaries about how public the relationship will be is an important consideration. Indeed, few people will know (or care) about what happens in the dark, but once it is brought to light, you have to be ready to deal with the criticism.
Is this a long-term relationship? – This may be difficult to know at the outset, but dating multiple people while going through a divorce may raise concerns to a custody evaluator; especially if children are exposed to these love interests.
How will jealousy play a part? – Bad things happen when jealous, soon-to-be ex-spouses learn about new relationships. They can spark rounds of silly games of revenge, or new rounds of litigation over parenting time.
How will it look to a family court judge? – Again, custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. If your dating choices compromise what it is best for your child, they could affect your rights to custody and parenting time.
If you have additional questions about how additional intimate relationships may affect legal proceedings, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.