If your marriage has come to an end, and you’re wondering if it’s okay to date before your divorce is final, you have plenty of company. Our clients frequently ask us, “Is it okay for me to date during my divorce, or is that not recommended?”
Ideally, divorcing spouses would not date until their divorces were finalized, but divorce attorneys in New York and across the country know that’s easier said than done. Usually, divorcing spouses fall into one of two categories: 1) they want nothing to do with dating for the moment, or 2) they are eager to start dating again.
What Are the Concerns with Dating During Divorce?
The main concern with dating before your divorce is final is how your spouse is going to react to it. If your spouse is the jealous or spiteful type, and he or she learns that you’re already dating again, this can backfire, and even turn an amicable divorce into a contested divorce, which is costlier.
Your spouse can even go so far as to have their attorney subpoena your new boyfriend or girlfriend to find out if you’ve been wasting marital assets on your new romantic relationship. New York judges, however, are not typically concerned about a spouse dating as long as he or she doesn’t start until after the couple is separated.
Only you know how your spouse is going to react to you dating. If you truly want to start dating again, before your divorce is final, here’s our advice:
- Do not go out on any dates until after you have physically separated from your spouse. Meaning, you live in separate households.
- Do not change your status on Facebook from “married” to “single” until the divorce is final. This disrespects your spouse and your marriage.
- Avoid posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram with you and your dates.
- Do talk to your spouse and reach a mutual agreement about how you’re both going to handle dating.
- To prevent running into your spouse while on a date, avoid bars, restaurants, etc. that he or she frequents regularly.
- Consider going out on group dates instead of dating one-on-one.
- If you have children, only date when it’s your spouse’s night with the kids.
- Do not introduce any dates or new partners to your children until after the divorce is final.
- After the divorce, take the slow approach when introducing a new partner to elementary-age children and up, especially if the child is close to the other parent or hopes you’ll get back together. Children’s emotions can be raw, and sometimes they need time before accepting a new partner.
We hope this post answered your questions about dating during a New York divorce. If you are seeking a New York City divorce lawyer, contact our firm to request a consultation.