Can I Start Dating Before My Divorce is Finalized in New Jersey?
When a marriage ends, the first instinct for many people is to find someone new. It can feel strange and unfamiliar to suddenly be alone, especially if your marriage has lasted many years. The comfort and support of a new partner can be extremely helpful as you go through this difficult period of your life. But are there any potential consequences for dating someone before your divorce is finalized? Could this affect the legal outcome of your divorce?
If you have questions such as these, you might want to get in touch with a qualified, experienced family law attorney in New Jersey. Working with a professional can help you avoid many common mistakes. Communicate with your attorney and seek their advice regularly, as this can help you pursue the best possible legal outcome.
Always Wait Until You Have Physically Separated From Your Spouse
At the very least, wait until you have permanently and physically separated from your spouse before you start dating other people. This means that you should be living apart from your spouse on a permanent basis before you begin new relationships. Remember, you are technically still married until the divorce is actually finalized. While judges are understanding of spouses who date before the divorce decree is actually issued, they are less patient if you cannot wait until you live apart from your spouse.
The worst-case scenario is that the judge actually views this as a sign of marital misconduct. They may even come to the conclusion (possibly with your spouse’s encouragement) that your new relationship was the reason the marriage fell apart (even if the relationship started after both spouses decided to separate.
Dating Adds Additional Stress
If you do decide to date before your divorce is finalized, you should probably prepare yourself for additional stress and time-consuming legal processes. This is because you will probably be asked about your new relationship during a deposition. The questions you are asked during the deposition could be extremely awkward and embarrassing – not only for you, but also for everyone else in the room. For example, you might be asked when the relationship started and how the relationship started. You may even be asked about the sexual details of the relationship. This is just one example of how dating before the divorce is finalized can add additional stress and issues to the legal process.
Be Extremely Careful Whenever Children are Involved
If you date before the divorce is finalized, you need to be extremely cautious around your children. If your new relationship starts to impact your children in any way, it could affect your child custody battle in the future. On the subject of children, getting pregnant while you are going through a divorce is extremely ill-advised. This will prolong and delay the divorce until after the child is born. At that point, a paternity test will be required for child custody and support purposes.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the New Jersey area for a qualified, experienced family law attorney, look no further than Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law. We understand many of the unique considerations that must be taken into account as a spouse goes through a divorce. Trust our guidance, and we can help you make the best decisions for your future. Book your consultation today.