Is It Ok to Date During Your Florida Divorce?
After the breakup of a marriage, most people have zero desire to get back into the dating game right away. However, in cases where the marriage was broken down for years or the couple was separated for a long time already, one or both spouses may be interested in getting back out there — even while the divorce is pending.
The spouse who didn’t want the marriage to end may be mourning the loss of their significant other and trying to come to terms with the end of their marriage. The other spouse may be ready to get back out there, especially if the divorce is taking longer than expected. This may seem to make sense, but is it legal under Florida law?
Legality of Dating During a Florida Divorce
Florida law doesn’t forbid people going through a divorce from dating again while the process is still pending. However, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s smart or the best idea. Dating while your divorce is pending could impact your case, which is why you should think twice about moving forward with your personal life until ties are completely cut with your soon to be ex-spouse. In addition, you might find that there is an emotional impact as you aren’t ready for a new relationship yet.
Ways Dating Can Impact Your Divorce
One of the first ways dating can impact your divorce is creating an increase in animosity and bitterness. It can prolong the proceedings and even result in you having less time with your children, depending on the terms of your time-sharing plan. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that your spouse won’t find out about your new relationship. With social media and the way people talk, it’s inevitable that he or she will find out.
It’s not uncommon for jealousy to rear its ugly head, despite the marriage being over. Your spouse may feel like the marriage meant nothing to you or that you were unfaithful during the marriage. While adultery has no bearing on your divorce’s outcome, it can cause your spouse to start pushing back in negotiations as a way to retaliate.
If you are dating, your spouse may argue that your kids should not be spending time with you because of your dating life. He or she may argue that it’s not in your children’s best interests because the children will be exposed to strangers who are overnight guests in your home. Or, they may claim the children are being adversely affected by your new relationship. If the judge agrees, you could wind up losing your right to spend more time with your children, even if the allegations are technically unfounded.
There is also the risk that a new relationship might lead to bad decision making. You are just getting out of a major life commitment and you may not be thinking straight. This can lead you to agree to pay alimony when you don’t need to, or to agree to an unequal distribution of assets just to get out of the divorce process.
Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
If you are preparing for a divorce in Florida, don’t go through it without a skilled Boca Raton divorce attorney by your side. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White today to schedule an initial consultation.