Dating & Divorce: When It May Become a Problem

Not everyone requires the same recovery time after a divorce. In fact, it’s not uncommon for individuals divorcing to begin dating before the separation or divorce has even been finalized. However, it may not be a good idea,

There is nothing in Oregon family law that makes it unlawful for you to date during your divorce. Furthermore, Oregon is a no-fault divorce state which means that your partner can not allege any wrongdoing. Or stated another way, any real or perceived wrongdoing during the marriage does not affect the division of property during your divorce. On caveat however, is that during a custody and/or parenting time dispute, lifestyle choices may be considered. You will want to discuss this issue specifically with your lawyer.

If you do not reside in Oregon, make sure you find out whether your state has fault-based divorce or some hybrid of this. If so, your choice to date could be considered adultery which may negatively affect you in court.

Why You Probably Shouldn’t Date When Going Through a Divorce

In general, it’s strongly recommended that you do not date at all during a divorce. From a legal standpoint, it may not be against this law, but it is likely considered unwise. But not everyone wants to stay single during the divorce.

If you can’t wait, here are some important considerations you should make before either getting back out there or going public with your new partner.

1) Children

If you have children and are planning to pursue custody, then dating may not be the best option. From a legal standpoint, the court system is primarily focused on the best interests of the children. The court may not believe your decision of inserting a new adult into the children’s life right after a divorce was in his or her best interest. This could lead to reduced parenting time or even affect the custodial arrangement. Divorce is very difficult on children and brining another parental figure into the mix too soon can be very upsetting to children. It would also be a good idea to consider your child’s feeling on the matter, but only when they are ready. In certain circumstances, the court may take the children’s opinions into consideration when making custody and parenting time decisions. If your child is resentful of you dating, it could cost you parenting time. More importantly, it could cost you your relationship with your children.

2) Alimony & Child Support

While dating someone typically won’t adversely affect alimony or child support, moving in or cohabitating with someone can. For those receiving spousal support, your benefit could be reduced based if the new the new household income or resources available to you are taken into account. Likewise, for those paying support, your payment burden may be viewed as less burdensome if there is other income available to your household.

3) Your Soon-To-Be Ex

Are you divorcing amicably? How do you think your spouse would react if they find out you are dating someone else? It is best not to stir the pot when you are trying to have an amicable divorce. In your particular circumstances perhaps it doesn’t matter, but in general it’s upsetting to the other spouse. Divorce is often the last chance spouses get to “take revenge” on the other person. It’s unfortunate that things happen this way but it’s important to be prepared. If you upset your spouse, they may choose not to work amicable with you or they may fight you on the division of assets or debts, all of which could prolong the divorce. Needless to say, this will also unnecessarily increase you legal fees.

4) Pregnancy

This may seem like a no brainer, but becoming pregnant by a man whom is not your husband during a divorce can really complicate matters and may delay your divorce as well. You may have to wait to get divorced until paternity can be established.

While the choice to date during divorce is ultimately yours to make, it is strongly recommended that you wait until after the process is completed. If you must see another person during the process, it is best to not flaunt you new partner and out of respect for your spouse, to keep it discrete. It’s also a good idea to let your divorce attorney know just in case your spouse tries to use it against you in court.