Divorce can be a lonely time for many, often prompting individuals to seek out companionship and support in a new romantic partner. While doing so may fix your loneliness, dating before your New Jersey divorce is final can have detrimental consequences on the outcome of your divorce. When it comes to dating while going through the divorce process, you should not engage in the following:
- Dating before separation: Dating before physically separating from your spouse could cause you much harm during the divorce process, especially if the judge perceives your behavior as infidelity, which can negatively affect the divorce agreement and potentially custody rights regarding any children.
- Openly dating: Be sensitive and empathetic to your spouse’s feelings. Openly dating before finalizing your divorce can often anger or upset your soon-to-be ex-spouse, which could result in them rejecting prior agreements or divorce terms. Openly dating could also be fodder for your spouse’s attorney, who could allege the relationship began during the marriage, and result in your new romantic partner being called to testify to the nature of your relationship and when it began.
- Using dating apps: It is good practice to refrain from dating apps entirely until your divorce is finalized, but if you do, be cautious of the information you post and consider how a judge may view your profile information.
- Introducing children to new partners: Divorce is often more difficult and emotional for children. Keep in mind that you and your spouse may have decided to end your marriage many months or years prior, but to your children the situation is very new. Quickly introducing a new love interest to your children often causes further emotional harm and sense of betrayal that they do not deserve and can damage your relationship with them.
- Becoming pregnant or impregnating a new partner: Becoming pregnant, or impregnating someone else, can have a detrimental effect on your spouse, your children, and your divorce. Pregnancies occurring before the divorce is finalized typically delay the process until the child is born in order to verify paternity and establish child custody and support, significantly impacting the time and expenses related to the divorce.
While dating during the divorce process can cause a lot of emotional upheaval and drag out the divorce process, it does not mean that you have to shoulder the difficulties on your own. It is important to have a support network of friends and family who can help you through difficult and emotional times, an opportunity to vent or cry, and help you see that the situation is temporary, and that life will be better. While going through the divorce process, it may be helpful to:
- Seek support: Having support during such an emotional time is crucial to your own mental health and well-being. Seek the support you need from family, friends, or support groups, and make sure your children do as well, to help you all cope with painful transitions.
- Socialize in groups: Isolating yourself during the divorce process can make the process more difficult and emotionally draining for you. But dating someone new is not the only option to feeling lonely. Make efforts to socialize in groups with friends, family members, or colleagues. Doing so allows you to have some much-needed fun and different perspectives or advice on what you are going through, while not appearing as an extramarital relationship.
- Embrace post-traumatic growth: All divorces come with drastic life changes and transitions. This time can be very difficult and emotional for all involved, but there comes a point during the process that offers a “light at the end of a tunnel,” known as post-traumatic growth – the positive psychological realization that something good can result from a bad situation.
Whether you decide to date during your divorce, or even afterward, be mindful of what you do and say around the children and be honest with potential romantic partners about your current marital status and situation. Divorce is simply a temporary stage, not a life-long occurrence.
Marlton Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Represent Clients Through the Divorce Process
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, the Marlton divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass can help you through this difficult time and develop and sound divorce agreement, child custody and support. Call us at 856-751-5505 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, and Mercer County.