Can Dating While Getting Divorced Affect Your Divorce Case?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsGetting into another relationship while getting out of your current marriage might not be the best idea in the State of California. A divorce can be stressful enough without complicating the situation further. Taking another lover during a divorce could, depending on the circumstances of your divorce, could affect your case outcome negatively.

New partner and children

If children are involved in the divorce, then dating someone new while getting the divorce can affect your chances of getting sole or joint custody of the child or children. The other spouse will definitely have issues about how this new person is going to be with the children and whether the children will like him or her. If it is joint custody, then how much time is this new person going to be spending with the children – will it be supervised or unsupervised? Many questions such as these will arise when you start dating someone in the middle of divorce proceedings. Your ex-spouse may lower your chances of you getting joint or shared custody of your child or children because he or she is unsure of the children’s safety and well-being around this new and unknown person.

New partner and alimony

Another major drawback of dating someone new while getting divorced is the matter of spousal and/or child support. The other spouse may use your new partner as a reason to not pay you any spousal or child support even though you are entitled to it. Also if you plan to move in with your new partner or have a live-in relationship with them this could adversely affect your chances of getting any kind of spousal support. Section 4323 of the Family Code states that the spouse who is cohabiting or living with a nonmarital partner has a decreased need for spousal support and the court can modify the terms of spousal support or terminate it altogether. The income earned by the new nonmarital partner shall decrease or eliminate the spousal support payable by the ex-spouse.

New partner and jealousy

Of course, another reason why dating someone during an impending divorce is a bad idea is because it can cause your former spouse to develop feelings of jealousy towards you and your new partner and he or she might resort to more hostile methods to gain an upper hand in the divorce case.

So there is no hard and fast rule that you shouldn’t date someone during a divorce but it is advisable to wait till the divorce proceedings are completely finished before starting to date again.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation