You and your spouse have separated, and you will soon be legally finalizing the end of your marriage. You might have already become involved with someone new, or maybe you just want to enjoy a night out. Even so, your soon-to-be ex might try to use your dating against you during the negotiations, especially if your divorce becomes contentious.

Tips when Dating During a Separation

These strategies can prevent or at least minimize complications during dating after a separation.

What to Do:

1.    If possible, wait to start dating until your divorce is final. Be aware that your soon-to-be ex might understandably feel jealous and hurt, especially if you initiated the separation. You want to avoid turning the divorce proceedings antagonistic, whether you’re in mediation or at trial. He or she might cite your dating as evidence that you act selfishly and put your needs above those of your children. Your ex might also allege you were involved in an affair with your new boyfriend or girlfriend, even if that wasn’t the case. Finally, this new person might be inadvertently pulled into your legal battle, resulting in further stress for everyone involved.

2.    Be honest about your situation with the person that you date. Do not misrepresent yourself and start the relationship off on the wrong foot.

3.    Attend a support group for those going through divorce. Find a safe and private place to discuss your feelings with others who are experiencing the same urges and constraints.

4.    Wait to introduce anyone whom you date to your children. While you might be over your former spouse, your children could still be struggling to process the break up. You could hurt or confuse them by rushing to re-partner as well as jeopardize your custody rights.

5.    Speak with our law office for insight about how to approach your divorce strategically, compassionately and ethically.

What Not to Do:

6.    Do not date to retaliate against your ex for his or her dating choices or affair. This is not War of the Roses. The court will not appreciate retaliatory dating. Do not flaunt your relationship in front of your children or your soon-to-be ex.

7.    Do not become pregnant or father a child while you are separated.