Can I Date During My Divorce?
Dating during your divorce is legally permissible; however, does your spouse mind? To keep your divorce on track and its cost to a minimum, you need your spouse’s full cooperation so any behavior which upsets your spouse, justifiably so or not and regardless of how your spouse is behaving, is behavior you need to avoid until your divorce is final.
Many people wonder whether they can date during their divorce. Legally, sure, once your divorce has been filed in court (and you are no longer at the same address as your spouse), there is no legal penalty for dating other people. BUT, that’s the easy answer. If you have filed for a simple, uncontested, low-cost, no-fault divorce, no matter how long you have been living apart, your spouse MUST be and remain fully cooperative and available…your spouse MUST sign the required document(s). So, ask yourself, “How will my spouse react if I date someone else?” It does not matter whether or not it is legal to do so, if your spouse gets sufficiently upset, even if for no reason, if your spouse refuses to sign the required paper(s), you will have paid your legal fees and spent your court costs and you will not get your low-cost divorce.
Do not think you can date without your spouse finding out. Do that and you will find out, sooner or later, just how really small this world is. I have had situations wherein the spouse claimed not to care…but really did. One really cannot be sure about that, even in cases where your spouse is dating! Yes, the old “double standard” meaning your spouse may date but won’t sign if you date could stop your divorce. Unfair? Sure, but remember that “All’s fair in love and war”. Divorce is bad enough. Don’t turn it into a long, expensive war.
Finally, this caution applies not only to dating in person, but to all other forms your spouse can access of otherwise find out about. That means nothing that can be seen or heard. No social media (like Facebook), no texting or emailing. Even private phone calls can be problematic. Think about the possibilities. The person you’re dating without your spouse’s knowledge knows to keep your relationship a secret. Will it be kept a secret from your date’s best friend? Don’t kid yourself. You know better. And what do your think would happen to your secret if you and you date have a spat or you “break up”? Especially if your date considers the issue to be your fault.
Just relax. Time really does fly in adult life. If your spouse REALLY does not care, carry on as you may. Otherwise, behave and get your simple, uncontested, low-cost, no-fault divorce without shooting yourself in the foot.