Dating Someone New While Going Through A Divorce
Divorces are not always resolved as fast as the divorcing couple would like. If the couple has complicated issues, or chooses to go through a legal separation before going through the full divorce, the time from when the couple calls it quits to when the divorce is finalized could be years. Because of this, there is often a question of when the spouses can start dating other people, and whether it is legal to do so before the divorce is finalized.
In Florida, a spouse does not have to prove the other spouse’s infidelity in order to be granted a divorce. Florida divorces are “no fault” divorces, which means that a couple may get divorced due to irreconcilable differences. This also means that adultery does not affect a Florida divorce in general terms, although it may affect issues of property distribution and cooperation in settling issues.
If both spouses have access to marital funds, and one spouse uses these funds to support a new relationship before the divorce is finalized and property is distributed, then the court would take this into consideration when finally distributing the property. Of course if the property used is separate property that was not subject to division between the spouses, then it does not matter. The dating spouse can spend his separate property on his new relationship as he wishes.
One other way that dating before the divorce is finalized can affect the divorce is if it antagonizes the other spouse. If the divorce is progressing without any major disagreements as to property division, or issues relating to the children, it makes the divorce move along faster and less stressfully. If one spouse starts dating, it may make the other spouse stop cooperating due to jealousy, or because the spouse feels disrespected.
If one spouse expects a negative reaction from the other spouse if she starts dating, it may be best to be discreet until the divorce is finalized. If the concern is that the other spouse will get abusive if he finds out about the new relationship, then it may be necessary to consider other avenues of legal protection. In these situations, it is important to consult with your attorney.
If a couple is legally separated, dating could also affect a future divorce if the couple has a pre or post nuptial agreement that covers infidelity and property division. Some prenuptial agreements may hold that a spouse who engages in adultery does not get alimony or a share of some property. In this situation, even if the couple is separated, the agreement’s restrictions may apply.
Contact Us for Legal Advice
Life has to move on even in the face of a divorce, and a person’s life does not have to necessarily be put on hold while the divorce is finalized. However, there are also smart ways to handle dating before the divorce is finalized, and it always best to check in with an experienced divorce attorney before taking steps that may negatively affect your divorce. For legal advice, schedule a meeting with our compassionate and experienced Boca Raton, Florida divorce attorneys at Law Offices of Schwartz White.