To Date or Not to Date During a Divorce

By Candace M. Williams & Natalie V. Teston

Family Law Department,

Coleman, Chambers, Rogers, & Williams, LLP


Are you thinking about dating during your divorce? This is often a question we are presented with by clients during a pending divorce case. You may think that you are free to start a new relationship once the decision is made to separate or divorce. Right?

While the Courts do tend to view post-separation conduct and pre-separation conduct differently, there still may be significant adverse effects on your pending divorce case should you decide to date while the case is pending. It is important to keep in mind, not every case is identical. The results of your decision may vary in comparison with another person's divorce case. Regardless, the issue of whether or not to date during a pending divorce case can significantly impact your divorce litigation.

Points to be considered when making the decision to date or not should be discussed with your legal professional in advance. Do not assume your decision to date is risk free. It best to consult your legal professional first, otherwise you may receive unexpected adverse results.

Your spouse may not react the way you anticipate when discovering you are dating someone new while the case is pending. Dating during your divorce may have even more negative implications for cases where minor children are involved. In some cases, you may experience the "angry spouse syndrome," if you choose to date while the divorce is pending. A case which might otherwise have been settled easily, amicably and inexpensively may turn into a difficult, acrimonious and expensive battle.

Will your spouse use your dating as evidence that the divorce was caused by you? Will your spouse have a better claim for more parenting time because they can devote their full attention to the children while you are busy dating? Will the Court frown upon your dating while the divorce is pending? These are questions you need to present to your legal professional. Again, every case is different. It always best to sit down in advance with your legal counsel to consult on this issue.

Will you go through tremendous emotional and psychological changes while your divorce is pending? Perhaps. You are unique, and every case is unique. Your perspective on life and relationships may change sporadically. One may find it best to hold off on making major life decisions while a divorce is ongoing.

Will dating impact your legal proceedings? Possibly. It depends on many factors. Every Judge is different, and you must consult your legal professional in advance to thoroughly and thoughtfully broach these important topics. At Coleman, Chambers, Rogers, & Williams, LLP, we offer extensive family law experience to help through this process. Please contact our office for a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys at 770-534-3770.