It is not rare for divorcing spouses to start getting into the dating scene again, even while their divorce hasn’t been finalized. If you are in the same boat, you may have asked yourself whether it’s okay to start dating while your divorce still pending.
Technically, yes, you can date someone while in the middle of divorce in Massachusetts, but it can have certain legal implications. Keep in mind that your decision to date someone else may impact your divorce proceedings, including the custody of your children.
In Massachusetts, divorcing spouses are legally allowed to enter new relationships before their divorce is finalized. However, there are many issues that can arise when you begin dating before your marriage is officially over.
For example, dating someone new could potentially lead to a temporary order that states your children can’t be in the presence of your new partner. If you have already started dating, and spent a considerable amount of money on your date (like gifts or vacations), that amount could be considered divisible during the property division.
If you are not sure how much impact your dating life will have on your pending divorce, consult with experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney, Jay Davis. With over 22 years of exclusive experience in family law, Jay can help you navigate these complicated issues during your divorce process. For a free consultation, call Jay at 617-221-3548 or contact us online.
3 Ways Dating Can Impact Your Massachusetts Divorce
Here are the possible legal ramifications of getting into a romantic relationship before your divorce is complete:
1. Child Custody
If you decide to date before your case is finalized, you could potentially end up affecting your custodial rights. For example, if your judge firmly believes that it’s not in your children’s best interest to be around a new romantic partner before the marriage is officially over, they may give you a prohibitive order, not allowing the children around your new significant other.
Also, if your new love interest has a criminal record, the Court may hold it against you, on the grounds that you may not be capable of making good judgments when it comes to the well-being and safety of your kids.
According to Massachusetts law, alimony payments can be reduced, interrupted, or terminated altogether if the “paying” spouse can prove that the “receiving” one has lived with their new partner for at least 3 months. In other words, if you are receiving alimony and move in with your new partner before or after the final divorce decree is entered, your alimony amount can be altered.
Jay Davis and his incredible legal team can explain better to what extent alimony could be altered if, as a divorcing spouse, you decide to date or move in with someone. With over two decades of experience in Massachusetts family law, Jay understands the emotions that accompany divorce cases. Call him directly at 617-221-3548 or leave him a message online.
3. Increased Legal Costs
As we mentioned earlier, emotions run high during a divorce proceeding. It is natural that there would be tension between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. But when you decide to date during the divorce, it can add a lot more stress in the relationship. Your ex-spouse may get angrier, and the process can stretch out longer than necessary.
Dating Etiquette During a Divorce
If you do decide to date, here are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of your decision on the divorce matters:
Don’t publicize on social media: Don’t post pictures, videos, or updates about your new partner on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or anywhere else online. This includes talking about your dates in private chats.
Don’t create a profile on Tinder: Creating dating profiles on Tinder, Match, or any other online website is an equally bad idea, especially if you boast about owning property or earning a high income. Your spouse’s attorney can use your profile to prove that you are lying about your income or property, sabotaging your case. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a detail about your income or assets; a tenacious attorney can uncover any details through your social media that are less than pleasant.
Don’t bring your date to court: Do not make the mistake of bringing your new love interest to your divorce proceedings in the court. It may create a negative impression on the judge, and can be used against you by your spouse’s lawyer.
Have Any Questions About Dating During Divorce? Call A Massachusetts Divorce Attorney Today
One of the biggest reasons people divorce is because they miss the intimacy of being in a caring and loving relationship. If you have found someone who makes you feel cherished and appreciated, and you are in the middle of a divorce, it’s not your fault.
At the same time, you have to realize exactly why your marriage broke down, so you don’t repeat the same pattern with your new partner. The point is, you have to tread very carefully here. At the end of the day, deciding to enter a new relationship is a highly personal decision and may help one spouse move forward.
If you have any concerns about dating before your divorce is finalized, consider speaking with Jay Davis at Davis Law Group. Jay can offer you sound legal advice based on our experience and the specifics of your situation. He can help you fully comprehend your legal rights and what options might be available to you.
In addition, Jay can explain the possible outcomes that could result if you choose to date while your divorce is still pending so you walk into the situation with eyes wide open. Call him directly at 617-221-3548 or write to us online.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548