Divorce can be a depressing and lonely process, which is why some spouses going through the legal proceedings start dating again. While it may seem great to feel loved again and take your mind off the contentious divorce process, the best time to start dating again is after your divorce is final. Although there are legal reasons to avoid re-entering the dating scene, there are some emotional ones as well.
The following are several reasons why dating during a divorce is NOT a good idea:
- Negative impact on your divorce settlement – Dating during a divorce can adversely affect various divorce issues. When it comes to child custody, your children may want the other parent to have primary custody because you are spending more time with a new romantic partner or you are constantly bringing him/her around. If you are likely to pay child/spousal support and decide to move in with a new partner, you may be ordered to pay more support because you share expenses with that person. If you are likely to receive alimony and start living with a new partner, the judge may decide you do not need as much spousal support because you share expenses.
- Take time away from your children – As we mentioned before, dating someone new may cause your children to be alienated from you. They may feel like you abandoned the family unit, causing them to align themselves and sympathize with the other parent. It is important to understand that your kids need you the most for physical and emotional support in the event of a divorce. Spending time with someone new as opposed to your own kids may cause lasting damage to their psychological development.
- Your new relationship can anger your spouse – A mutual separation may transform into a hotly contested process if one spouse starts dating. A new person in your life may cause your spouse to become jealous, potentially making your divorce more expensive and time-consuming than it should be. Your spouse can use your dating endeavors against you in several divorce issues, such as alimony, child custody, child support, and even property division.
- Your new partner may not like all of the negative attention stemming from the divorce – While you may enjoy the company of a new flame, would you want to put him/her in the middle of your divorce? Leaving them open to scrutiny from your spouse and your kids can put a damper on the new relationship. Additionally, any individual who has constant contact with your children can be subject to a custody investigation. If your boyfriend/girlfriend has any previous legal issues, they will have a negative impact on your divorce.
- You are not emotionally ready – Although a new love interest can appear to a breath of fresh air and help you avoid the pain from your divorce, you must eventually confront those emotions. You still need to deal with the issues that resulted at the end of your marriage and make sure you are emotionally ready to support yourself before you invest yourself in another person.
At Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., we recommend that you wait until your divorce is over before dating and introducing the new person to your children. Instead of trying to find a new romantic partner, use that time to help your children get through the divorce and properly deal with your own emotions until you are ready to commit yourself to someone else again.
If you are interested in filing a Florida divorce, contact us and discuss your situation with our Clearwater divorce attorney today.