Wanting to date during the divorce process is perfectly natural. After all, it certainly is a lonely and stressful time, and it is entirely understandable to want to feel desirable and see new people. However, the general consensus among lawyers is to advise their clients against dating until the divorce is finalized because of the negative impact this can have on the divorce process.
If you want to keep things simple, clean, and drama-free, don’t do it.
Dating During Divorce Can Add Stress
If you choose to date during the divorce process, it can increase tensions between you and your soon-to-be-ex, especially if you are still living together. While your former partner’s feelings might not be your top priority, it is important to consider that this could affect how they behave during the rest of the divorce. It is not uncommon for retaliating spouses try to extend the divorce process, which is stressful and expensive.
In some states, a pending ex spouse can accuse their partner of adultery, which can impact one’s own entitlements in the divorce, such as alimony or child custody. To determine the possibility of infidelity in these states, the court can send a stenographer to interview a new love interest, make them swear an oath, and divulge details of your relationship to determine the potentiality for adultery or improper use of marital funds. That really isn’t the kind of pressure that is good for a new relationship, is it?
Colorado is a “no-fault” state, so a judge cannot consider infidelity when making decisions about whether to grant the divorce, or how to divide assets according to C.R.S. 14-10-110.
A judge may issue a temporary order to address you and your ex’s conduct during the divorce process, such as determining temporary custody, restraining orders (if necessary). and appropriate uses for marital funds. Using marital funds on a new relationship, for dates or gifts, may lead to punishment from the judge.
If you choose to date anyways
As previously mentioned, you will save yourself a lot of drama if you wait until you are physical separated from your spouse at the very least. It is also a good idea to avoid introducing your children or family members to a new love interest until the divorce is finalized, and you have been together at least six months.
Don’t get pregnant, or impregnate someone during the divorce process. A pregnancy during a divorce will extend the divorce process to be the duration of the pregnancy, at the very least. From there, the court will need to determine paternity of the child, and custody/support requirements.
In the dating process, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable explaining to a judge.
No, this does not mean you can’t have fun or socialize
We get it- this is an incredibly stressful, and lonely time. You deserve to be able to connect with other people, and you don’t deserve to feel alone. Going out with friends to a concert, hike or event can be a great way to blow off steam and reconnect with people who make you feel loved and cared for.
If you happen upon a potential new love interest while out and about, just be transparent about the situation: offer to exchange numbers, and reconnect when life gets a little simpler (aka: divorce is finalized). It will save you a lot of trouble.
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Editorial Staff. (April 7, 2021). “Can I Date Before My Divorce Is Final?” The Healthy Marriage. https://thehealthymarriage.org/can-i-date-before-my-divorce-is-final/
Guillen, L. and Heinig, M. (n.d.). “Dating During Divorce.” Divorce Net, Published by NOLO. https://www.divorcenet.com/states/missouri/dating_while_divorcing
Guillen, L. (n.d.). “Colorado Divorce FAQs.” Divorce Net, Published by NOLO. https://www.divorcenet.com/states/colorado/cofaq06